EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- While everyone may be looking for Eli Manning to get back on track and right the New York Giants' offense, the solution might be a little farther away from center.
The key may be wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and what he does for the Giants (6-4) against the Green Bay Packers (7-3) on Sunday night.
Nicks has been one of the major big-play components of the offense for the past three seasons, whether it's catching the long ball or turning a short pass into a lot more. Over the past two seasons, he has caught 155 passes for 2,244 yards and 18 touchdowns. The former first-round draft pick added four more TDs in the Super Bowl run.
This year, however, has been frustrating. Nicks broke his foot in minicamp in May and then banged up his knee in a 10-catch, 199-yard-performance against Tampa Bay in the second game of the season. He missed three games and struggled until the Giants' 31-13 loss to Cincinnati in the final game before last week's bye.
Nicks started to show signs he was emerging against the Bengals, catching nine passes for 75 yards-- four fewer receptions than he had in the previous four games combined. With an extra week to heal, the fourth-year wideout is close to being 100 percent.
Nicks smiled when asked if the offense would take off when he did.
"We're going to see," Nicks said. "I think I didn't elevate my game, but I think that is going to come."
Nicks said the injuries prevented him from running past defenders and left him wary about planting and cutting during his routes. The result can be seen in his statistics -- 36 catches for 465 yards, a 12.9-yard average, and one touchdown in seven games.