WR Roger Lewis spoke with Giants.com to recap his 2017 season and discuss future goals:
Playing behind Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz, along with second-round pick Sterling Shepard, undrafted wide receiver Roger Lewis didn't get many balls thrown his way during his 2016 rookie season.
That all changed in 2017.
In the Giants Week 5 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers, Beckham, Shepard, Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris all went down with ankle/foot injuries. Shepard would return in Week 9 against the Los Angeles Rams, but Beckham, Marshall and Harris were all placed on injured reserve.
When the Giants offense lined up against the Denver Broncos in Week 6, it was Lewis, the undrafted receiver out of Bowling Green State University, split wide as Eli Manning's No. 1 target.
"In the locker room, we're all like brother," Lewis said. "Everybody can make plays whenever and it's a next-man-up mentality. So when everything happened, it's just next man up."
The Giants went on to beat the Broncos, 23-10, for their first win of the season. Lewis finished with just one catch for 15 yards, but his production would soon increase.
Lewis finished his second NFL season with 36 receptions on 72 targets for 416 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The most memorable play of his sophomore year came in Week 12 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Tied 9-9 with 2:12 left in overtime, the Giants faced fourth-and-five at the Chiefs' 36-yard line. The Giants went for it, and Lewis hauled in a 34-yard pass from Manning, sliding to the ground with Chiefs defensive back Phillip Gaines pulling him from behind. It was the key play that set up Aldrick Rosas' game-winning 23-yard field goal.
"When we got in the huddle, 10 was like, 'We're going to hit a slant,'" Lewis said. "We hit a slant, and 10 was like, 'You ready?' And I said, 'Yeah, you believe in me.'"
After reeling in just 50 percent of his targets in 2017, Lewis says his main focus this offseason is consistency.
"I'd say more with the technique," Lewis said. "It's not the year that everyone wished for, but all I want to do is win. So more with the technique, more fundamental. For next year come back bigger, stronger and faster and being able to be great."
If his catch against the Chiefs is a sign of things to come, expect even more big plays in 2018.
"Coming off my second year, the most improvement I want to make is being able to make the big plays and come back ready," Lewis said. "Next year is going to be special."