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Giants coach Tom Coughlin blames Steelers Plaxico Burress for missed third championship

Winning a single championship is rarely more than just a dream to most football players. Winning two places a team in rare company. Evidently for the Giants head coach, two is not enough as he tries to excuse a missing third.

Jamie Squire

Giants coach Tom Coughlin has pulled himself from the mires of termination rumors to Super Bowl champion multiple times. He's had an outstanding run in the NFL, and now, Coughlin, 66, is telling stories only a person with his level of experience could.

Interestingly, worked into all of it, and reported by the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Coughlin said his 2008 Giants, who were 11-1 at one point, would have won the Super Bowl if not for wide receiver Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg.

Burress accidentally shot himself in his leg at a New York nightclub on Nov. 28, 2008. The Steelers were 8-3 that year, including a Week 8 loss to the Giants in Pittsburgh. Burress had three catches for 15 yards in that game.

"We were the best team in the NFL at the time of the shooting," Coughlin said.

The Giants earned the NFC's No. 1 seed, but were upset by NFC East rival Philadelphia in the divisional round.

The Steelers would go on to win the Super Bowl in a dramatic 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

Perhaps Coughlin is lamenting on what could have been. It's fair to point out the Giants did win their first game without Burress, 23-7 over Washington in Week 13, and clearly, the No. 1 seed and a 12-4 record is nothing to look down upon, but Burress had 35 catches for 454 yards in a season in which other injuries - not just bullet wounds - drug him down.

Put Burress and his three catches against the Steelers from the regular season on a Giants team in the Super Bowl against the Steelers, maybe it would have been a good game. We'll never know.