I am beginning to wonder just how important Plaxico Burress is to this New York Giants football team.
Burress has struggled this season with disciplinary issues, double coverage and now a hamstring injury. Through it all I have continued to believe the Giants needed No. 17 happy, healthy and productive to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Now, though, there is mounting evidence that the Giants are just fine without him. Thank you very much, Jerry Reese.
Let's break it down.
- The Giants are 10-1, and Burress has not made a truly significant contribution since Week 2. He had 15 of his 35 catches this season after two games.
- In the two games Burress has missed (counting Sunday's one series against Arizona as a missed game) the Giants have scored 44 and 37 points. I know the 44 was against Seattle, but it's still 44 points.
- The emergence of Domenik Hixon, Steve Smith and -- lately -- tight end Kevin Boss means the Giants have loads of weapons even without Burress on the field.
- Two of Eli Manning's best statistical games this season have come without Burress. You can make an argument he is better without Burress because he spreads the ball around more instead of forcing throws and hoping Plax makes a play.
Now, I know darn well that without the gutty, incredible contribution made last season -- playing most of it on one leg -- that the Giants would not be Super Bowl champions.
I know he could be the most talented wide receiver ever to wear a New York Giants' uniform.
I know the Giants paid him a ton of money because they know what kind of weapon he can be.
I know they would rather see him on the field than on the sidelines in a goofy-looking baseball cap.
I know I hope he gets healthy, gets his head screwed on right and makes some huge plays that help the Giants win another Super Bowl.
I am just not sure any more that the Giants absolutely have to have Burress to win another championship.
Burress' 2008 stats
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