EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Instead of complaining after failing to catch a pass two weeks ago against the Jets, New York Giants receiver Amani Toomer kept his mouth shut and worked.
It wasn't surprising. The 12-year veteran has long put the team and winning ahead of his own statistics.
The work paid off on Monday night when Toomer hauled in a game-high seven passes and a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons and became the Giants' career receiving leader with 587 catches.
The 33-year-old Toomer didn't want to say much about either breaking Tiki Barber's old receiving mark (586) or tying Kyle Rote's career touchdown reception mark of 48, noting that he plans on playing several more years.
``I definitely am playing for the enjoyment of the game,'' Toomer said. ``But I want to look back and feel that I have accomplished something. Like I said before, when I'm done, I'll think back.''
Coming off his second major knee surgery, Toomer has caught 26 passes for 306 yards and a touchdown in six games.
The one game that sticks out, though, is the 35-24 win over the Jets on Oct. 7. Eli Manning hit 13 of 25 passes in the game, but none went to Toomer. It marked only the third time since he became a starter in 1999 that he failed to catch at least one pass in a game.
``I was a little disappointed, but it's hard to get disappointed when you win,'' Toomer said. ``Wins don't come easy in this league and having a three-game winning streak (at that point) is nothing to be upset about.
``But it's tough because I am a competitor and I want to compete all the time,'' he added. ``It was a tough thing to go through, but that's part of being in the receiving position.''
Manning said he felt bad about not getting a pass to Toomer against the Jets, but added that he didn't do anything differently this week against the Falcons.
``It is good to get him into the end zone and get him some catches,'' Manning said. ``That is what we expect from Amani. And that is what we hope to get him every week. If the offense is going to be at our best, he is going to have to be involved and make plays for us.''
Toomer expects more from himself, noting he is still working to get his left knee back in shape after having surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in November.
``I think it usually takes about a year to get everything back,'' he said. ``I am a couple of weeks away, so I think I am getting better and progressing.''
Toomer's first knee surgery was in 1996 and his recovery from that also took a full year.
A completely healthy Toomer will give the Giants a second threat along with Plaxico Burress, who has been bothered by a season-long ankle injury but has still caught 30 passes and eight touchdowns, tied with Randy Moss for tops in the NFL this season.
While Toomer wants to catch more touchdowns, he isn't upset about Burress either.
``You always want to do well in games,'' Toomer said. ``You always want to be productive, producing. I think he's doing great things for our team. We're winning a lot of games and he's blowing a lot of games open. I'm not complaining about that at all.''
If everyone can get healthy, Toomer knows opposing defenses are going to have problems deciding whom they want to stop.
``The main thing is to get the Super Bowl ring. We've been close, and this year I think we have a really good shot,'' Toomer said. ``Hopefully, the team will get better and better and we'll compete at a high level.''
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