Eli Manning stood in front of the media firing squad on Wednesday and took responsibility for his late game blunder in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys. While the New York Giants are preparing for their home opener on Sunday, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. came to the defense of his quarterback and put the onus on himself and his teammates for last week’s tough loss.
“He can’t accept any blame,” said Beckham about Manning’s fourth quarter miscues. “There were plays in the game that should have been made, so it never should have come down to that position.”
Manning, confused about how many timeouts the Cowboys had remaining, mistakenly told running back Rashad Jennings not to score on the Giants first two plays inside the 5-yard line. On third down, Manning inexplicably heaved the ball the ball out of bounds for an incompletion.
The Giants settled for a field goal, but squandered an opportunity to go up by 10 points or at the very least milk the clock down under 40 seconds. Instead, Dallas had 1:27 remaining and drove 72 yards on six plays punctuated by an 11-yard strike from Tony Romo to Jason Witten for the game-winning touchdown.
Despite the mental breakdown from Manning, and lack of resistance on the final drive by the defense, Beckham remained adamant that the game was not lost by one player’s mistake.
“We should have never put ourselves in that position, but him being the leader and being able to step up and take the blame for it is tremendous character on his part even though you can’t sit there and let him take all the blame,” noted Beckham about Manning’s accountability.
The Giants are trying to turn the page from a brutal loss to a divisional rival, but Beckham can’t help but think about the plays he could have made prior to the nightmarish late game sequence.
“There were plays I probably could have made or I could have done something more to impact the game,” admitted Beckham. “I feel as if a lot of it is my fault as well. You win together, you lose together.”