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Giants want to forget last season's rout by Saints

Victor Cruz is hit by New Orleans Saints

Victor Cruz is hit by New Orleans Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson during the second quarter of a game in New Orleans. Credit: AP, 2011

The Giants had some low points to go with their very high points last season, but their most humiliating game might have been the 49-24 Monday night drubbing at the hands of the Saints in a game that wasn't as close as even that lopsided score would indicate.

"It was definitely embarrassing," Victor Cruz said. "Whenever you get beat like that, it's never a good feeling. You never get a good taste in your mouth."

As the Giants prepare to face the Saints again, those awful memories are flooding back. At least the memories that remain are. Osi Umenyiora said he has never watched the tape. He sprained his ankle early in that game and went for X-rays, and by the time he returned to the field, he said, "They scored like four or five touchdowns."

As for defensive coordinator Perry Fewell: "I want to forget about that game because they kicked the ---- out of us."

The Giants rebounded from that loss and went on to win the Super Bowl, but they don't expect to experience similar humiliation this time. Said Umenyiora, "I don't think that's going to happen this game."

Osi: Praise, then punish

Antrel Rolle complained this week that some Giants are too lovey-dovey toward opponents when talking about them in the days leading up to games. Thursday , Umenyiora suggested there is a method behind such glowing praise.

"Nobody's in awe of anybody out here," he said. "I think a lot of times you like to build somebody up only to tear them down. You don't want to give anybody bulletin-board material . . . and then he comes out there and throws for 13 touchdowns on you.

"So if anything, you want to err on the side of caution and say how good he is. And then go out there and knock his head off."

Giant steps

Hakeem Nicks (knee) missed practice and was back on the injury report. "Same one that's been bugging him," Tom Coughlin said. "It's always a concern, but hopefully it will subside and he'll be ready to go." . . . Special teams coordinator Tom Quinn said Domenik Hixon could see a bigger role in the return games, where David Wilson and Rueben Randle have been all season. Both rookies are seeing an increased role on offense. Hixon had his best game against the Saints in 2009 when he had a team-record 303 all-purpose yards, including 230 on seven kickoff returns.

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