As Thursday night's 36-7 victory over the Carolina Panthers wore on and he piled up catch after catch you could see the smile on the face of Ramses Barden grow wider and wider. And why not? This was the type of performance the Giants have waited four years to see from the 6-foot-6, 230-pound 2009 third-round draft pick.
Barden caught nine passes for 138 yards, beating press coverage at the line of scrimmage, working across the middle and creating yards after catches. The nine receptions equaled his total from last season. Barden had only 15 catches total in his first three seasons.
[Video: Barden's post-game press conference]
Asked how gratifying the performance was Barden's face lit up and he said "Words can't describe."
"It's not everything I wanted. There's some plays I want back and there's more I want next week," Barden said. "I'm not easy to satisfy, but it's definitely an OK start for me."
Barden's head coach was impressed by what he saw.
"He caught the ball, he made yards after the catch, he was a big target in there for Eli, he ran good, precise routes," Tom Coughlin said of Barden's performance. "He played well. He's been waiting for this kind of chance, he got it and he played well with it."
Indeed he did.