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Silly play ruins fantastic game for Nicks

8/17/2014
Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports

INDIANAPOLIS -- Hakeem Nicks went from having a fantastic game to just having a "really good night" because of one play that should not have happened.

With Indianapolis Colts teammates Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton sitting out Saturday's preseason game against the New York Giants, Nicks had excellent rhythm going with quarterback Andrew Luck as the team's No. 1 receiver.

Nicks had five catches for 53 yards. Four of his catches were for first downs.

But the talk with Nicks centered around a play that was called back.

Nick was in the midst of a 36-yard reception when he started waving at Giants cornerback Trumaine McBride right before stepping out of bounds on the Giants' sideline. Nicks was called for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play.

"My instincts just did it," Nicks said. "It's something I just did ... I got caught up in the moment."

Colts coach Chuck Pagano's instincts took over once Nicks made his way over to the sideline at the end of the first quarter. The coach voiced his displeasure at Nicks for the uncalled antics.

"It doesn't matter who the opponent is, they're nameless, faceless objects to us," Pagano said. "Good football team. We respect all, we fear none. But it's not about them, it's about us and how we handle our business, how we play the game.

"It doesn't matter what he situation is. Hakeem knows. Right after it was over, he knew exactly what the discussion was going to be. He's better than that, he knows that. He'll learn from that and it won't happen again."

Nicks was motivated for Saturday's game. He spent the first five years of his career with the Giants. He won a Super Bowl with them and had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, but his final year in New York wasn't pleasant. His effort was questioned by the Giants last season.

Nicks proved he'll be a weapon with Hilton, Wayne and tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, but his one silly play messed up a flawless game for him.

"He was outstanding," Pagano said. "[Nicks] and Andrew were in a rhythm, making plays. We'd figure he'd play inspired football against a really good football team, well coached football team…He did a great job. Minus the one penalty, would have been a fantastic night, a really good night would have been a fantastic night."