FLORHAM PARK, NJ - AUGUST 07: Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Jets speaks to the media at NY Jets Practice Facility on August 7, 2011 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Burress estimated he faced double coverage on all but two plays.
This is a key point. Burress can be effective when he is not catching balls if he is drawing double coverage. Taking two guys out of the play opens things up for other guys.
Things do not happen in a vacuum on the football field. Think back to the play breakdown post I did a few days back on Darrelle Revis' interception of Tony Romo. The throw was Romo's fault, but the conditions for it were created by a pass blocking breakdown that left him with one receiving option. The same concept is at play here. Numbers do not come close to adequately describing everything that happens on the field.
Burress is not a decoy in the Jets offense. They targeted him the ball when they had a matchup advantage against the Cowboys. When he is double covered, though, it would be dumb to try and force him the ball just to prove a point. A double team in his direction means a matchup edge elsewhere. It is best to find that and target it. There will be other games where Burress is needed to step up into a bigger role.