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The New York Giants suffered a heartbreaking 19-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. There were plays that were too ugly to watch, but there were other moments that can help make all Giants fans feel positive about the upcoming weeks.
The first positive to take from the Week 4 game was David Wilson. Everyone has been waiting for the 2012 first-round draft pick to come out of his shell and give us something to see. Tom Coughlin and Kevin Gilbride spoke endlessly during the preseason about the explosiveness and athleticism Wilson had. Wilson's first few weeks of his rookie year did not go as planned, and everyone has been waiting to see when this kid was going to produce.
Wilson returned kickoffs for the Giants on Sunday and certainly showed off the explosiveness everyone was talking about. He averaged 36 yards on six returns, his longest return going for 54 yards. The Giants have been missing a solid return game in the last few seasons, and Wilson was able to provide big yards and good field position. What was missing in the game last night was the Giants not taking advantage of the position Wilson gave them.
Perhaps this was the confidence boost Wilson needed. Since the Week 1 fumble against the Dallas Cowboys, Wilson's confidence seemed to dwindle a little and he struggled the next two weeks. Wilson certainly has the speed and power to make good returns, as we all witnessed last night. A game like this could help him be more comfortable on the NFL field and help bring out more good things.
Another positive to take from the Week 4 loss is Domenik Hixon.
Hixon missed Week 3 due to a concussion he suffered against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2. The Giants were missing Hakeem Nicks for the second week in a row going into Week 4, so it was important for Hixon to make some big plays.
He caught six passes for 114 yards and averaged 19 yards per reception. His longest was for 41 yards. Hixon took advantage of big passes from Eli Manning to help move the Giants down the field quickly. It was especially impressive to see him come off a concussion and put on a solid performance.
Hixon's last few years with the Giants have been tough ones. In 2010 he suffered an ACL tear the first time he set foot on the new turf in the Meadowlands. Then in 2011 in a Week 2 Monday Night Football game against the St. Louis Rams, Hixon again his ACL after making a spectacular touchdown grab.
Two seasons in a row missed and suffering a concussion after a big helmet-to-helmet hit against the Buccaneers -- was he ever going to catch a break? This week Hixon played as if he was never hurt and was a good fill in for the injured Nicks.
Despite the tough loss against the Eagles, the production from Wilson and Hixon was certainly a bright spot. It's imperative that these two keep producing and do what they did on Sunday. The Week 5 game against the Cleveland Browns can be the perfect opportunity.