Now the losers of five-straight games and all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, there is very little to get excited about when Big Blue takes the field. If anything could typify how the Giants season has gone in one series, it was the game’s infamous four-down failure. The opportunity was created by a spectacular grab from rookie sensation Odell Beckham Jr, only for the Giants to fail on four straight pass attempts to secure the go-ahead points. The playcalling naturally came into question: four straight passes and three consecutive fade routes before a season-worst fifth interception from Eli Manning. Beckham, a bright spot in an otherwise disastrous season, insisted it was on the players.
“That is on nobody but us,” Beckham insisted. “We’ve got to put the ball in the end zone. It is one of those things where our execution needs to come in and we’ve got to put that one in the end zone.”
If Big Blue can take any positives away from yesterday it would be just how far Beckham has come in a short time, becoming the go-to receiver late in the contest and responding well to his ever-increasing responsibilities. The league is starting to take notice of his talent as well: Richard Sherman frequently matched with Beckham in Seattle last week, and the 49ers often paid extra attention to slow Beckham down. It seems like no coincidence that Sunday was also the most productive in terms of yardage of Rueben Randle’s career.
“They did a great job of keeping the safety over the top, a corner underneath at the same time,” Beckham said of San Francisco’s defensive plan. “It kind of felt like a trap, or it was being double-teamed. There are a lot of other playmakers on this team and we just have to find ways to all be able to make plays and execute the way we need to.”
The Giants appear to have found a real player to build around in Beckham. His competitiveness and extraordinary talent has already won plaudits from the likes of Richard Sherman, and veteran safety Antrel Rolle has expressed disappointment in not having many more years to play with a player that shows such passion and determination for his team as Beckham does. That passion came out in an uncharacteristic moment of weakness on the offense’s final play.
“Just got to catch the ball, got to hold on to it,” Beckham said. “That is a play we have to make and I am just frustrated that I couldn’t. … [I] just love this game. Sometimes it’s hard to control your emotions when you’re in the heat of battle. [Slamming down my helmet was] something I shouldn’t have done, but it is just part of the game.”
The passion won’t bother Giants fans, but the perception Beckham gave for a moment after that he was hurt certainly did. Beckham assured he was ok however, and the Giants can breath easy. He’s not just a rookie anymore; he is the key difference maker for the Giants offense.