Sunday’s 24-13 win over Washington was just another game for Odell Beckham Jr., as the rookie has made the incredible seem routine during his rookie campaign. You have to figure that eventually someone is going to figure out how to slow down the former LSU standout, but until then, Giants fans will enjoy watching him thoroughly dominate opposing secondaries.
Even as great as he’s been, Beckham’s three-touchdown performance on Sunday was stunning. He caught more passes (12) than the rest of the Giants combined. With 143 receiving yards, Beckham gained just about half of New York’s rushing/receiving total.
After the game, quarterback Eli Manning talked about what the Giants are doing to keep their young star from being blanketed by opposing defenses.
“We’re moving him around a bunch,” said Manning, “So you can’t just see exactly where he’s going to be. As we keep going, I’m sure some other teams will kind of keep two guys on him some. But I think they’ll keep their base defense and we’ll just have to try to find our best match-ups. The other guys, Preston [Parker] and Rueben [Randle], made some big catches for us at times and that’s what we need. We need everyone playing at a high level.”
What’s perhaps most impressive about Beckham is his level of experience in the NFL. While most top flight receivers take three or four years to reach their prime, Beckham is looking like an All-Pro after missing part of the regular season and most of training camp due to a hamstring injury. Just think of what he could turn into with some more seasoning.
“He’s got skills and you just hope to keep working, keep grinding, and keep getting the little things correct,” said Manning, “There’s definitely some room for improvement still, just on decisions and understanding the offense to its fullest. And that’s me, as well. Us getting on the same page with things. So hopefully we can continue to do that.”
Although there are no playoffs in the cards for 2014, the Giants should be motivated by the way Manning and Beckham are playing together. When you have a connection like that, a team is only a few pieces away from being considered a contender. Beckham’s play is enough to bring optimism to the Giants in the midst of a disappointing campaign.
“He’s always upbeat walking around and has that energy,” said Manning, “It’s exciting when the ball gets in his hands. You see it in games and on punts and just the way he’s a playmaker. We like to have those guys on the field and he’s done a good job working hard to do everything correctly. And he needs to continue to do that.”