Plaxico who? Giants WR Hixon off the charts

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Once you've covered the league for a few years, you realize that training camp wonders come and go. In 2003, a receiver named Aaron Boone out of Kentucky thrilled Cowboys fans with acrobatic catches in San Antonio. But when the regular season arrived, Boone was long gone.

That's why I sort of rolled my eyes when everyone in Giants camp kept talking about how wide receiver and return specialist Domenik Hixon was on the verge of something special. Even quarterback Eli Manning, not a man given to hyperbole or facial expression, couldn't say enough about Hixon, a fourth-round pick by the Broncos in 2006.

"He gives us a big target," Manning said of the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Hixon. "And he's been one of the most consistent guys we have."

On Monday, Hixon served notice that he may have staying power, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter and leading the Giants to a 37-34 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

  • As Ralph Vacchiano points out in the Daily News, Hixon learned a valuable lesson in the team's first preseason game about getting both feet down. On Monday, he did it twice on touchdown catches.

With Plaxico Burress continuing to nurse his ankle and ego, Hixon has taken advantage of every opportunity. I think there's a good chance he opens the season as the team's third receiver -- or even the No. 2 if Amani Toomer continues to struggle with an injury.

  • Paul Schwartz of the New York Post discusses Hixon's huge night. As if two touchdown catches weren't enough, the former Akron star returned a free kick 82 yards for a touchdown.

"That gave him the hat trick in the first quarter," Manning said. "Not a bad night."

  • The Newark Star-Ledger's Mike Garafalo provides another account of Hixon's big night. He writes what most people watching the game were probably thinking: Before last night, Hixon was best known for being the player whom Bills tight end Kevin Everett collided with when he broke his neck last season. The Giants offered him a fresh start after what had to be an awful experience. Hixon didn't do anything wrong on the play, but I'm sure it still haunts him.