• Eli misses practice time with Hakeem

  • By Ohm Youngmisuk | December 25, 2012 8:00:55 AM PST

Eli Manning has thrown for just 311 yards and one touchdown combined in the past two games.

Manning hasn't passed for 300 yards or more in a game in his last eight games. The offense has struggled and the big play has been hard to find -- just one of many issues the Giants have had.

"We're not making it easy on ourselves," Manning said. "It's just tough sometimes. Things aren't the same. Not quite as open, not quite as easy, everything is a little tougher. I don't think there is an exact reason."

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AP Photo/Nick Wass
Hakeem Nicks didn't make a reception in the loss at Baltimore.
Manning does have one theory as to why the offense has been so out of sorts. Manning believes that injured players missing valuable practice time has hurt the timing of the offense.

He greatly appreciates players like Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw fighting through injuries, but the quarterback says the offense needs to practice with as many bodies as possible.

"We've got some guys banged up, obviously, who are showing great toughness," Manning said. "You love the competitiveness, the hanging in there and being there for the team. It can be tough when you've got four or five guys who don't practice much during the week, if at all, and then show up on game day.

"Again, you love the toughness, you love the competitiveness, you love the team attitude and doing whatever it takes. It's hard to continue to play at a high level sometimes."

The timing between Nicks and Manning has been noticeably off. Nicks has been battling through a knee injury and pain in his surgically repaired foot.

"It can be tough," Manning said. "I love Hakeem and the way he competes. He's doing everything he can to be out there. He's obviously dealing with a frustrating issue that's limiting him a little bit. He's out there trying to do his best, so we just have to keep working, try to get on the same page.

"He missed most of training camp, all of the offseason, so you don't get that rep time," Manning added. "We don't get practice reps. He gets a few reps, he's not quite at full speed. The timing is off on a few things and it can make it hard to be as effective as you need to be and be on the perfect timing that is required to be really successful."

Nicks has 53 receptions for 692 yards and three touchdowns. He was held without a catch for the first time in the Giants' 33-14 loss at Baltimore on Sunday.

"I don't even want to talk about it," Nicks said after the loss about getting shut out.

When asked if it was something the defense did, Nicks said, "I don't know what it was."


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