They’re the Super Bowl champions, but when the New York Giants take the field against the rival Redskins to begin the NFL season tonight, they’ll feel like underdogs. “Nobody really has a lot of respect for us,” says Plaxico Burress. “Even when we won the Super Bowl, everything was a fluke.” New York has lost five starters, and many doubt they’ll recover.
Two of those starters —sure-fire hall-of-famer Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora —were the key to the defensive line that contained the mighty Patriots. But with Burress declaring himself 100% healthy, and Mathias Kiwanuka back at his natural position of defensive end, the Giants have some reason to hope. “Everybody is doubting us again,” says Burress. “I think it’s going to make us a better team.”