Burress Can’t Finish What he Started

Giants Insider
Posted Sep 24, 2006


Exactly how much Plaxico Burress’ bad back contributed to his sitting out more than half the game in Seattle is uncertain. But what is certain is that when he played, Burress hurt his team much more than he helped it.

“My best wasn’t good enough today,” Burress said. “I am not going to make any excuses, I just have to come back, get on the practice field, get some rest and come back and make some plays.”

Burress, who injured his back during the Eagles game and missed two days of practice last week, was involved in three huge plays – all of which hurt the Giants badly.

In the second quarter, Burress was flagged for offensive pass interference, negating a 13-yard gain and a third-down conversion. Then he couldn’t handle an Eli Manning pass and bobbled the ball right to Seattle’s Michael Boulware. Finally he completed the hat trick by fumbling away the ball after being stripped by Marcus Trufant following a 23-yard catch.

“I let my team down,” he said. “Without those two turnovers, maybe we can win the game.”

Tom Coughlin didn’t do much to clear up why his star receiver was on the sidelines from the middle of the second quarter on. After Burress lost that fumble, he didn’t see the field again.

“He worked hard to get to the point where he could play, but he didn’t get to practice more than one day this week,” Coughlin said. “He didn’t play well when he did have the opportunity.”

“I guess they could see that I wasn’t at full speed,” said Burress, who added that he wasn’t upset about being pulled. “They decided to take me out of the game.”

Burress was asked if he could have continued to play. “I could have but I’m not going to go out there and really hurt myself for one game,” he said. “We still have 13 games left; I am looking at the big picture.”

Now he’s looking forward to a little time off to get himself back into game shape.

“I couldn’t ask for a better time for the bye week,” he said. “I just have to get healthy and go out and do what I can do.”

DT Express: With Burress out of action the window of opportunity opened for David Tyree. As usual, when given a chance, Tyree capitalized. He had a team-high five catches for 72 yards and caught the nine-yard TD pass that moved the Giants within 42-30.

He impressed one of New York’s key offensive players.

“I thought David Tyree did a great job of stepping up when his number was called,” Jeremy Shockey said.

At least some sort of silver lining came out of Seattle.

Louder than life: While Coughlin wouldn’t use it as an excuse, the Giants were clearly affected once again by the boisterous crowd at Qwest Field.

“Of course it was a factor,” Tiki Barber said. “It always is.”

“This is definitely one of the toughest places to play in the league,” Burress added.

The Seahawks are well aware of their huge advantage as well.

“It’s getting to be a very difficult place for a team to come in and play,” Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said.

Injury report: WLB Carlos Emmons was the main injury of note. He strained his pectoral muscle in the second half and didn’t return.

Getting defensive: Believe it or not, the Giants did play a little defense in Seattle. Gibril Wilson led the way with 10 tackles, Antonio Pierce and Michael Strahan had nine stops and Will Demps added eight. In addition to R.W. McQuarters’ INT return for a score and Corey Webster’s swipe on the game’s first play, Fred Robbins added a pick of his own.

Headin’ to 10,000: Tiki Barber became just the 21st NFL running back to top 9,000 yards. With 64 ground yards in Seattle, Barber now has 9,012 career rushing yards, tops in Giants history.

Rushin’ to the top: This was the first game in NFL history to feature opposing running backs who each rushed for more than 1,800 yards in the previous season (Barber, 1,860 yards, finished second behind Shaun Alexander, who had a league-leading 1,880). Alexander and Barber combined for 3,740 yards last season, which is the highest combined yardage total from the previous season by opposing running backs for any game in NFL history.

The previous mark of 3,718 yards was set on Nov. 26, 1998, when Hall of Famer Barry Sanders’ Detroit Lions hosted Jerome BettisPittsburgh Steelers. In 1997, Sanders had rushed for 2,053 yards and Bettis had run for 1,665 yards.

Barber got the better of this battle with Alexander, who’s nursing an injured foot, 64-47.

The Barber/Alexander matchup was also just the 11th meeting since 1970 to showcase the league’s top two rushers from the previous season. That last happened on Oct. 27, 2003, when Miami’s Ricky Williams (1,853 yards in 2002) played opposite San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson (1,683).

Vacation time: The Giants now have a 14-4 record in games before their bye weekend. That’s one of the league’s best pre-bye marks. The Cowboys are 15-3, the Seahawks are 14-3 while the Niners are next with a 13-4 mark.

Coughlin is now 7-4 in pre-bye games, including 2-1 with the Giants.

Big Blue returns to action on Oct. 8 when the Giants host the Redskins at 1 p.m.

Series notes: The Giants still lead the series against the Seahawks, 7-5. They dropped to 2-4 in Seattle, including the overtime defeat last season on their first visit to Qwest Field. The Giants last defeated the Seahawks, 9-6, in Giants Stadium on Sept. 22, 2002. The Giants’ most recent victory in Seattle was on Oct. 18, 1981, a 32-0 shutout.

Inactives: WR Sinorice Moss (quad) was back on the inactive list, where he’s expected to be for several more weeks. S James Butler (knee) and RB Derrick Ward (foot) also missed the contest due to injury. The rest of New York’s inactives – LB Brandon Short, OT Na’Shan Goddard, DT Jonas Seawright and OT Guy Whimper – were healthy scratches. Tim Hasselbeck was the third QB.


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