Playing with Fire

 

Burress in happier times

Burress in happier times

Last season started so well for the Giants.  November rolled around and they found themselves 10-1 with victories over each of their divisional rivals.  Then, star receiver, Plaxico Burress, shot himself in the leg (by accident of course! Dummy)…at a nightclub.  Yes, that actually happened.  I know, I know, I still don’t quite yet believe it either.  The G-men went on to lose three of their next four games.  Eli Manning threw only one TD pass during that stretch and was sacked 12 times.  GM Jerry Reese and many Giants are however, optimistic that the new group of receivers will be able to fill the void. 

            I don’t buy it.  Burress gave Manning an escape route on every play.  Bad pass?  Don’t worry, Plax would use his height (6’6’’) and make something out of nothing.  Did Eli Manning just miss high again?  He never does that (not)! Oh wait, there goes Plax, snatching the ball from the sky like the play was drawn up that way.  His threat forced defenses to double team him, leaving receivers like Steve Smith, Amani Toomer, and Domenik Hixon open.  Defenses were also cautious of committing too many players to the rush, as Plaxico’s downfield threat was too great a risk. 

            Now, he’s gone for good.  The Giants are left with a WR corps of Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon, David Tyree, Sinorice Moss, Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden.  Smith, although he lead the Giants with receptions last season, does not pose the same type of scoring threat as Burress, as he only had one TD last season.  He functions as possession receiver, and I feel the transition from the slot to the Number 1 spot will be too much for him to handle.  Hixon provides the Giants with an exciting young prospect, but after Burress’s…accident he struggled to make an impact.  His buttered-finger play against the Eagles cost the Giants a touchdown, (and maybe a playoff win as the Eagles probably wouldn’t have made it) and shows he still has a lot to learn.  Tyree is back this season, but let’s face it, his only contribution to the team will be the reading of his autobiography (yea, even he has one now…) to the rookie receivers in a feeble attempt to prove he’s important.  Moss and Manningham I can’t see making any decent impact, as Moss has underperformed thus far and Manningham didn’t get any meaningful playing time last season.  The two rookies are promising and are “full of potential”, but then again, when are they not?  Even so, there’s always a shot that one of them will come good this season.

            However, I think that player who will surprise the most people in the upcoming season is (drum roll please) Ahmad Bradshaw.  The unsung hero of the Giant’s Superbowl run in 2007.  Anybody remember him?  I’m not saying Bradshaw will make up for Burress’s loss single handedly, but rather that he will be the player that rises to the challenge.  He was rarely used by Coughlin last season, which was a little weird -well okay, maybe if he didn’t steal PlayStations and laptops in college, and violate parole, Coughlin would have looked on him more favorably. We all know what a stickler Coughlin is for the rules.  I guess Derrick Ward rushing for over 1,000 yards didn’t help either.  But with Ward gone, Bradshaw is a lock for much more playing time.  He will enter the game after Jacobs pounds the defense into the ground and use his agility and speed to give the offense a new dimension and the defenses a different type of headache.  His talent is there and he can use it.  This is evident through the playoff run of ‘07, where he led the team in yardage (no easy feat), including an astonishing 42 in the Superbowl.  This also proves he can play when it really matters.  You heard it here first, Ahmad Bradshaw (Fire of the Earth, Wind and Fire trio) to leave behind the demons of last season and become a vital part of the Giants offense. 

Bradshaw will look to leave the 08 season behind him

Bradshaw will look to leave the '08 season behind him

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7 Responses to Playing with Fire

  1. Jason says:

    Stop beating a dead horse… Plax did nothing the entire season in 2oo8. He wasn’t the reason we were 10-1 he had average numbers. Eli Manning was terrible in the playoffs because he can’t throw in the wind… Every Giants fan knows that. The Giants had a ton of open Wr in the playoffs that Eli couldn’t hit. If you don’t believe me go back and watch the game. Eli just had one of those days (that he has had several times in his career late in the season at Giants stadium)
    The Giants can run and throw without Plax stop making him out to be Jerry Rice.. The guy was a very good NFL WR nothing more nothing less. Eli had his best games when Plax was out and had his only 3oo yard passing game last season when Plax was out
    Stop panicking the Giants will be fine and if we don’t win it won’t be because we didn’t have Plaxico Burress

  2. chrisutd07 says:

    i agree he didn’t have a great season number-wise, but just having plax out on the field changes the way teams defend the giants. they had to go through a steep learning curve without him those last few games.

    not having plax certainly isn’t an excuse for not winning, but an obstacle the giants will have to overcome. and they will. and ahmad bradshaw will help with that haha

  3. dsd62789 says:

    i disagree. i dont think its possible to compare the offense the giants had with plaxico burress and the one they had without him and say they’re similar. with him, they were 11-1 and looked unstoppable on offense. with him, teams couldn’t put 8 guys in the box just to load up to stop jacobs. without plaxico, domenik hixon became the number 1? does anyone believe he can be a number 1? and how about the pass that went right through his arms that he dropped against the eagles? with plaxico the giants had a dynamic offense, and without him, eli did not throw ONE SINGLE TD pass to a wide receiver

  4. Joey Boots says:

    You are an idiot. Hixon’s drop happened in regular season game #2 against the Eagles — not in the playoff game — so it could not possibly have cost us the playoff game. God I hate bloggers.

  5. chrisutd07 says:

    it’s a stretch but imagine if hixon had made that play, we woulda beaten the eagles, they wouldn’t have made the playoffs, and we woulda had an easier play off

    that’s why i said maybe.

  6. Joey Boots says:

    Woulda beaten the Eagles???? The game was 3-0 Eagles in the 2nd quarter when that happened. How do you figure we automatically beat the Eagles if we go up 7-3 in the 2nd quarter???

  7. chrisutd07 says:

    because we didn’t get another scoring opportunity the whole game until a meaningless TD at the end. nothing is automatic, but that put would have put us right back in the game. you can’t tell me that drop wasn’t significant. instead, the opportunity was gone, and we didn’t get another chance. i have faith we would have beaten them. we were a better team. the loss threw the NFC race back into the open and it gave the Eagles the shot at making the playoffs, which they did.

    this is beside the point though, the point is i’m a little scared the giants will struggle at receiver. this point on hixon is def a stretch and that’s my bad but i think my fears are justified by the record/numbers after burress. it is absolutely undeniable the giants still have to prove themselves after his departure. i want them to do it, and i think they eventually will but at the same time I think people are being overly optimistic which is typical for fans to do in the offseason.

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