EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — New York Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara is finally playing like a first-round draft pick.
After missing time in his first two seasons, Amukamara has stayed healthy. He is second on the team in tackles with 76, and tied for the team lead in passes defended (11) and forced fumbles (2) heading into Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions.
"I think I have been progressing and improving from my first year," Amukamara said. "I am definitely not where I want to be. My goal this year was to make more plays on the ball and I feel like I missed out on opportunities so there is definitely something to work on."
The Lions might present the former Nebraska star and the Giants' secondary their biggest challenge. They have to find a way to slow down Calvin Johnson. "Megatron" leads the NFL in yards receiving with 1,449 on 81 catches, a 17.9 yard average.
The Giants might be catching the 6-foot-5 receiver at the right time. He has been held under 100 yards in the last two games, including one in a snowstorm in Philadelphia.
However, he also missed the Lions' practices Wednesday and Thursday because of a knee injury, so his status is uncertain.
Amukamara doesn't plan to do anything different facing Johnson, who is one of the most physical receivers in the league.
"I think there are different ways to play them," Amukamara said. "Some guys might play a little less physical because they don't want to get into that hand match with the guy. I haven't changed my game for anyone. I am just as aggressive as anyone. I use my hands. You only get five yards and I think that's the fastest way to slow a receiver down."
There was some speculation that the Giants might have the 6-0 Amukamara shadow Johnson because fellow cornerbacks Jayron Hosley and Trumaine McBride are a couple of inches shorter than Amukamara and would be giving away too much height.