Do the Giants miss Plaxico Burress now?

Eli ManningWhen the New York Giants placed wide receiver Plaxico Burress on the non-injury football list earlier this week and effectively ended his season, everyone said all the right things. The players said they could win with or without him and the media said the Giants were all about the team – both true.

But nobody could say following their 20-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday that the Giants couldn’t have used Burress. Eli Manning was just 13 of 27 for 123 yards and a touchdown, while no Giant receiver had more than four catches or 40 yards.

I don’t want to take anything away from the Eagles’ defense, because they blitzed and swarmed Manning the entire game. They also should have had at least one interception, but Asante Samuel and Brian Dawkins collided with each other and the pass fell to the ground.

That said, Manning looked completely out of sync with his receivers and Domenik Hixon dropped a perfect pass that could have been a touchdown. And once Brandon Jacobs left the game with a knee injury in the third quarter, the Giants could have really used a playmaker like Burress to breathe life into their offense.

Burress doesn’t deserve to be playing right now and it’s only fair he’s being punished for his selfish actions. But the idea that the Giants are a better team without him still remains to be seen and their loss Sunday proves that. They’re still the best team in the league and they will bounce back from their defeat. But it’ll be interesting to see whether or not the offensive woes that were on display on Sunday will reappear in the postseason without Burress in the lineup.

As for the Eagles, this was a massive win and it keeps their slim playoff hopes alive. With the Saints’ win over the Falcons, the final NFC Wild Card spot is up for grabs and if Brian Westbrook (203 total yards, 2 total touchdowns) and the Eagles’ defense plays as well as they did against the Giants, than Philly’s playoff hopes are far from dead.

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