What If Plaxico Burress Didn’t Shoot Himself?

Plaxico Burress giants super bowl 42
Plaxico Burress giants super bowl 42 /
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Granted, without Plaxico Burress, Eli Manning had an awful day in the NFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Eagles, throwing two interceptions, one of which set the Eagles up on the Giants 2 yard line and ended in a touchdown. Plus, the Giants defense let Donovan McNabb and the Eagles convert 7 of 14 third downs. But, it’s possible Eli’s not as jittery with Burress as his disposal? Instead, he had return specialist Domenik Hixon (6 feet 2 inches, 192 pounds), first-year starter Steve Smith (6 feet, 195 pounds), and 34-year-old Amani Toomer.

Had the Giants beat the Eagles in that Divisional Round game, they would’ve gone on to host the Arizona Cardinals – a team they’d already defeated in the regular season, 37-29 – in very cold, very windy East Rutherford, NJ. The way the NFC Championship actually played out, the Cardinals beat the Eagles by a touchdown. With the Giants hosting the Cards in the NFC Championship game, it’s safe to say, the Giants would’ve been appearing in back-to-back Super Bowls, this time against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

What a storyline that would be – former Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress facing his old team as a member of the Giants. Perhaps that serves as motivation? In their regular season matchup in October, the Giants pulled out the 21-14 win at Heinz Field, but Burress only had three catches for 15 yards. With the stakes much higher, it’s possible Plax pulls out a gem. The Cardinals ended up giving Pittsburgh a run for their money in a 27-23 loss. Is there any doubt the Giants would’ve done the same?