Burress’ number factory must have been seriously outsourced to a place that doesn’t understand football because there is no way that his statement is correct. In fact, his avowal doesn’t even make sense.
Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Donte Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney, and Ben Watson are the Picassos to the Giants’ emo art students.
Burress is a good receiver, Amani Toomer is an old receiver, Steve Smith is an unpolished receiver, and Kevin Boss is a backup. If a universe exists where this group is better than the Patriots’ receiving armada, it must be inhabited by people who are out of touch with reality.
My ranting may seem like the pained reaction of a diehard Patriots fan—and it certainly is. But I am not the only one taking umbrage to Burress’ comments. Our group is actually quite a large contingent of those in the know—mainly Rodney Harrison, the numbers, and common sense.
Take a look:
Rodney Harrison responded to Plaxico’s comments by claiming that the New England receivers are "the best group I’ve ever been around." He went on to say that the play on the field will be the best measure of which team has the better receivers. That Rodney Harrison is so smart.
And here are the numbers:
Burress was the leading receiver on the Giants with 70 catches for 1,025 yards. These numbers would have ranked third on the Patriots. None of Burress’ receiving teammates cracked 60 catches or more than three touchdowns. Four New England receivers had at least five scores.
I could go on and on about Amani Toomer’s drops, Steve Smith’s occasional production, and the fact that key players in the Giants passing game had fewer than 10 catches during the regular season, but I think these numbers say enough.
And now for common sense’s take:
Randy Moss enjoyed one of the greatest receiving seasons in NFL history and his career (minus the Oakland years) is Hall of Fame worthy. Wes Welker set a Patriots receiving record with 112 catches and tied for the league lead in receptions. Donte Stallworth was a free agent prize, yet he had only a minor impact because of the wealth of talent around him.
New England’s collection of receivers might have been the greatest group to hit the NFL in years. The Giants’ group of receivers? Possibly better than the Jets. Possibly.
You see, anyway you look at it, Plaxico is wrong.
Perhaps, his asinine assertion was simply meant to provide media fodder during the Super Bowl hype. If that is the case, then I cannot wait for his Media Day oratorical on the movable type versus stone etching.
Then again, if word of his embarrassing opinion grows, he can always blame it on the media.
Taking things out of context is what the media do best, at least if you ask players and coaches. He could chalk the whole thing up to that wretched Boston media and claim that what he was trying to say was Randy Moss is a demigod, Wes Welker is the business, and he and his fellow Giant receivers are straddling the line between acceptability and mediocrity. How dare those journalists say otherwise.
Of course, maybe this whole thing will just blow over and we’ll forget all about it by the time Super Bowl XLII kicks off. Michael Strahan and Antonio Pierce will probably say inappropriate things in the next few days, people will become focused on Tom Brady’s boot and whether or not it ever really existed, and Ryan Seacrest will capture our hearts with his red carpet pregame poise.
But really, the one thing that will make this whole one-sided debate turn silent forever will be that glorious moment when Randy Moss catches a beautiful, arcing spiral from Tom Brady to make the score 62-0.
Then the numbers, the common sense, and I will have a good, jolly laugh and sleep well in our Kevin Faulk replica jerseys.
For more, visit www.kevanlee.com.