Plaxico Burress: What to Expect from the Giants without Him

Michael SamuelSenior Analyst IDecember 4, 2008

As I write this article, I am listening to my second favorite New Jersey team play a Philly team. But on a serious note, what can Big Blue expect without star WR Plaxico Burress?

This year, the Giants have gotten ahead early in games, particularly using their running game to pound opposing defenses into submission while rushing for over 200 yards in five of their first 12 games. 

Is losing Plaxico Burress going to have a negative effect on this?  The answer is pretty obvious: It will have no effect on the Giants running the ball.

Eli Manning has typically thrived on throwing a deep ball by setting it up with play action.  The Giants only managed 102 rushing yards last weekend against the Redskins.

This is because Washington insisted on stacking the box with eight defenders and having Manning beat them. He did just that by throwing for over 300 yards through three quarters. 

As we saw last week, while it would help to have Burress in the lineup, Eli Manning showed he is willing to throw to inferior talents such as Domenick Hixon.  The Giants this season have a different leader in catches, yards per catch, and touchdown receptions.

The only way in which the Giants will be negatively affected is when they have to come back from behind to win a game.  We all can remember during the Super Bowl XLII when Burress made the game winning catch. 

Also this year, against the Bengals, he had a pivatol catch when the Giants were driving to put the game into overtime.

Overall:  I still expect the Giants to be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year, as I have said numerous times.  This will show the NFL what a team is able to do.