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The next chapter in the Odell Beckham Jr. v Josh Norman rivalry will take place at MetLife Stadium Sunday afternoon as the Washington Redskins come into town. After last season’s brawl, all will be intently watching these two line up once again between the hashes. Who will have the upper hand this time? Our experts from both sides have their prediction for who will come out on top.
Josh Norman’s Defense: Emannuel Benton (Breaking Burgandy)
Norman disrupted Beckham Jr.’s on-field swagger in Week 15.
Norman, now with the Washington Redskins, held the Giants' star receiver to 6 catches, for 76 yards and a touchdown. Most of that stat total came late in the second half on a 14-yard touchdown reception and a 40 yard catch that setup a game tying touchdown. Beckham nearly left the day with the last laugh. However, Norman came out on top and I'd expect the same to happen Sunday.
Even more so than the matchup itself, the Washington Redskins have their backs against a wall. The team is 0-2, while New York sits spotless at 2-0. The Redskins need a win and it will start with their leaders stepping up to shoulder the burden. As one of those leaders, Norman not only has extra motivation, but a larger responsibility to make sure Beckham stays in check.
I think he will. Especially since it appears that Washington will have him shadow Beckham throughout the game. This is a matchup that Norman should and will win.
Odell Beckham Jr.’s Defense: Scott Thompson (The Giants Beat)
There is no doubt that Beckham Jr.’s ferocity got the best of him last year against Norman, but forget about the “Royal Rumble” that ensued and focus on what happened when the yellow hankies weren’t flying.
When they weren’t clashing, Beckham Jr. flat out burned Norman on his routes. Take, for example, the first time OBJ was targeted on the deep ball he dropped for a touchdown. It was a simple post route and Beckham Jr. had at least 4-5 yards of separation on Norman. Then, on his touchdown late in the fourth quarter, Beckham Jr. created separation once more making an easy grab in the end zone.
No. 13 is physical superior to No. 24 and it will be apparent this time around as well.
Beckham Jr.’s only hindrance would be if he cannot control his temper like last year’s matchup. However, I don’t see this happening as circumstances have changed. Head Coach Ben McAdoo along with fellow receivers, Victor Cruz, and Sterling Shepard provide the source of support he needed last year. Collectively, they step in if things get out of hand.
It will ultimately come down to the mindset of OBJ heading into Sunday. As long as he realizes that he is better than the self-proclaimed “Best cornerback on Earth” and can control his emotions, he will have no problem tearing up the turf at MetLife Stadium.