This Saturday, New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress (#17, above) will do something he’s never done in his NFL career when he faces the New York Giants, a team he played four seasons for from 2005 to 2008.
Burress won a Super Bowl with the Giants, catching the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLII, ending the New England Patriots’ hopes for a perfect season.
He hasn’t played in a playoff game since that Super Bowl, thanks to the infamous nightclub incident in 2008 that cost him two full seasons as he sat in a jail cell for two years.
It’s hard to imagine that anybody on either team is going to be more pumped for this game than Burress, who says that he hopes to play his best game as Jet on Saturday.
“I definitely want to get in the end zone once, maybe twice, maybe three or four,” Burress said. “I’m going to try and play lights-out football. My goal is to go out and play the best game I’ve played to date this season.”
Burress has eight touchdowns on the season, tied with fellow wideout Santonio Holmes for the team lead. He did have one three-touchdown game back in Week 7 in a win over the San Diego Chargers.
But the 34-year-old Burress isn’t all that concerned about his own personal stats. He simply wants to go out and perform and help his team reach the postseason.
“From a personal standpoint and more from what we need as a team,” Burress said, “if we want to get into the playoffs and make the run that we believe that we can, we need to go out and play our best football.”
Giants’ defenders Antrel Rolle and Corey Webster are well aware of Burress’s talents. Webster was a teammate of Burress’s on that 2007 Super Bowl team.
“Plaxico has been very good for them in the red zone,” Rolle said. “He’s a big threat.”
“I think Plax is one of the great receivers in this league,” Webster said. “How he goes about playing is a rare commodity.”
The Giants were one of the teams who kicked the tires on Burress this offseason, when he was a free agent and ultimately decided to join the Jets.
“They knew what type of player I am,” Burress said. “They know me in games like this, when your back’s against the wall … I think they know what kind of effort they’re going to get out of me on Saturday.”
The Jets will need to have their playmakers come up big in a game that is essentially a do-or-die, must-win game for both teams. It’s not likely that both New York teams will play in the postseason.
Plaxico Burress is just happy to be here, with an opportunity to play in a game like this.
“Being able to play in this kind of game on Christmas Eve, you know somebody’s going to wake up with a bittersweet Christmas,” he said. “And it’s not going to be me.”