No, I'm with you as far as thinking "if we only had Plax maybe that season would have been different." But think to yourself: if you were saying "if we only had Plax," and you think his absence made the difference between a possible Super Bowl repeat and a bow-out in the playoffs, why wouldn't you want him back if he makes that much of a difference?
I don't think the Giants need Plaxico back. Steve Smith emerged as a great possession reciever and Hakeem Nicks had a decent rookie year and should get better this year. And Manningham isn't a bad #3. The Giants might have the best set of 3 young recievers. Just get that defense healthy and the Giants should be back competing for a Super Bowl this year with or without Plax.
But losing him the year you guys were the #1 seed did screw the season. I thought for sure NYG was repeating.
Osi was a big deal but that didn't make or break that season because Justin Tuck and #97 (i know his name but im not going to embarrass myself by trying to spell it) stepped up and played huge. The Plaxico injury probably hurt more because they lost him late in the season and nobody was able to step up and do what he could do. Last year all those young guys stepped up and Eli had his best year of his career without Plaxico.
The downfall of last year wasn't because of not having Plaxico it was because that defense which was the heart of that team was hurt.
As for last year? EVERY team has injuries, but that team on the field for the Carolina & Minnesota games flat-out quit. Those games were the most embarrassed I've ever been as a Giants fan. Through the years I've seen them outmatched, outscored, outcoached, etc plenty of times, but that's the first time EVER I've seen them quit. EVER. I just hope it's the last.