It is pretty difficult to find a chink in the armor of the 9-1 New York Giants. Difficult, but not impossible.
The only area of the Giants performance so far this season that you might classify as disappointing would be kickoff returns. The Giants rank just 29th in the league with an average of 20.2 yards per kickoff return. Only Pittsburgh and Miami are worse.
Ahmad Bradshaw is averaging just 21 yards per return with a long runback of 35 yards. At some point, the Giants will need to get more production from the return game.
Everybody loves Bradshaw's elusiveness and playmaking ability, but it might be time for the Giants to give the kick return job back to Domenik Hixon.
Hixon averaged 27.6 yards on eight late-season returns in 2007, including a 74-yard touchdown. He kept the job in the playoffs and Super Bowl, and averaged 23.9 yards on 12 returns.
This season Hixon has continued to show his return skills, averaging 11.5 yards on punt returns.
The lack of big kickoff returns so far this season might not be Bradshaw's fault. It seems to me that too often there simply hasn't been anyplace to run -- which means the blocking hasn't been up to par.
Yet, it seems to me the Giants are not utilizing their best weapon in the return game. I think it's time to give Hixon an opportunity.
- NOTE: Don't forget to join us tonight at 8 p.m. when 'Inside Football' editor Patricia Traini joins us for a live-blog style chat. We will run a game day style 'open thread' with Patricia, and I am hoping for good participation from you guys. If this works, maybe we can get beat writers like Mike Garafolo (Star-Ledger) or Ralph Vacchiano (Daily News) to participate some time down the road. Patricia plans to be with us for about an hour, so please stop by and ask a question or two.
- ONE MORE THING: Don't forget to vote in our poll to come up with a nickname for the Giants offensive line.