EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - One win away from their first division title since 2005, it's hard to determine which is the the Super Bowl champion New York Giants' biggest opponent: the Eagles or the hoopla surrounding the Plaxico Burress mess.
The Eagles are a rival the Giants (11-1) have beaten in five of last six regular-season games. The Burress situation has been a never-ending drain since the Super Bowl hero accidentally shot himself in the right thigh last weekend at a Manhattan nightclub.
The troubled Burress, who caught the winning pass in the Super Bowl in February, was suspended for the rest of the season Tuesday for conduct detrimental to the team.
However, that has not put the incident to rest. It's only gotten bigger with middle linebacker Antonio Pierce under investigation for a possible role in a cover-up, and the team and its personnel being scolded for failing to report the incident to police.
"As far as this football team we can only control what we can control," defensive end Justin Tuck said.
"Us worrying about this issue is not going to help Plaxico, all the people that are involved in it, or this football team. It is not going to help us on the football field and it is not going to help Plaxico off it. Like I said, we can only control what we can control and that is going out and playing good football."
The Giants have done a remarkable job of overcoming distractions in this season after winning an NFL title.
Since upsetting the Patriots in February, Tom Coughlin's crew has overcome the retirement of seven-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan; the loss of Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora to a knee injury in the preseason; and now three incidents involving Burress: his suspension for an October game, a hamstring injury that limited him to one series against Arizona, and the shooting last weekend.
In each game, the Giants won.