|With Plaxico Burress increasingly limited, Jeremy Shockey should become Eli Manning's primary target the rest of the season.|
Going into the season this looked like it might be the deepest corps of wide receivers the Giants had ever had. Now, it looks like a MASH unit devoid of any real playmakers.
The primary problem, of course, is that Plaxico Burress' troublesome ankle is getting worse, and making it nearly impossible for him to get down the field. With exciting rookie Steve Smith having fallen victim to the Curse of the Giants No. 3 receiver by sustaining shoulder and hamstring injuries, the Giants find themselves without real playmaking wide receivers.
What can they do?
• As they did against Dallas, they have to make Jeremy Shockey the focal point of their passing attack. Splitting Shockey out wide causes all sorts of matchup problems for defenses, and the Giants need to exploit that.
Sinorice Moss involved. I know Moss has been a huge disappointment in his two seasons. He does have speed, though. If only to keep defenses honest, the Giants have to get him deep down the field and throw him the ball every so often. It also wouldn't hurt if they threw some of those hitches and quick passes that have been going to Burress toward Moss. No way Burress can make guys miss right now.
• Make Ahmad Bradshaw the primary kick returner. If you aren't going to get the big game-changing play from your passing game you have to try and get it another way. Bradshaw has shown breakaway ability on kickoffs and needs to be given a full-fledged opportunity. It also wouldn't hurt to get him in the backfield and throw him a screen pass once in a while.
Who should be playing alongside Gibril Wilson, James Butler or Michael Johnson? Both players made mistakes against Dallas Sunday that resulted in touchdowns, so neither is the perfect answer.
My preference, though, is to see Johnson get an increasing share of the playing time. Butler got the job by default, since he was the only somewhat experienced safety the Giants had when they decided to part company with Will Demps. He is an adequate player at best.
Johnson is a seventh-round pick who shows immense promise. He had a rough go against Dallas, but has shown a nose for the football and the ability to hit people.
Since both players are pretty even right now, I would rather see the guy with real upside on the field. That's Johnson.