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Monday, October 11, 2010
Another Hakeem shines in Houston

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks put on a show in the same town where another Hakeem introduced the world to the Dream Shake. Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com has all the details on Nicks' big day against the Houston Texans.

It appears that Steve Smith's claim to "No. 1 receiver" status is now in doubt. Nicks has 20 catches for 240 yards and two touchdowns over his past two games. And he dropped a ball Sunday on a play that likely would've resulted in a touchdown.

"I gave him hell," Manning joked. "I guess you don't want four touchdowns on the day."

Earlier in the game, Nicks was shoved out of bounds at the Texans' 1-yard line following a 27-yard gain. On this day, he upstaged Texans All-Pro receiver Andre Johnson, who finished with five catches for 95 yards. At this point, we know Nicks has the potential to be one of the top playmakers in the league. Now it's about consistency. Manning thinks teams will try to take the deep ball away after watching film of Sunday's game.

"I think teams have to account for him," Manning said. "He is making plays. He is getting better in his route running, more confident. I would assume we are going to get more two [safeties] high, more double, a safety over the top of him. [That] should open things up for Steve [Smith]. You never know who is going to have the hot day."

Manning told me in training camp that he bonded with Nicks when the former North Carolina star showed up at the famed Manning Passing Academy this past summer. It looks like the two of them have developed some good chemistry and Nicks could potentially end up in the Pro Bowl.

It's funny that we were fretting about the Giants' receiving corps heading into the 2009 season. Now the receivers are probably the strength of the team.