Despite dropping a 29-27 heartbreaker to the division rival Washington, there was plenty to be pleased with as a New York Giants fan. Here are three players that I believe had major impacts in the Week 3 matchup:
Breakout Performer: Orleans Darkwa
The third-string Giant running back, forced into a backup role due to unavailable Rashad Jennings, put together an all-around solid day on the ground. He rushed for 53 yards on 10 carries, including a two-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Look for Darkwa to continue to see more of the ball in light of Shane Vereen’s likely season-ending triceps injury.
X-Factor: Odell Beckham Jr.
Putting his sideline pouting aside, Beckham was absolutely electric for New York this past weekend, snagging seven passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, including an incredible circus catch. He clearly won the one-on-one battle against Josh Norman, and if not for numerous penalties and mistakes, Beckham’s performance would have been enough to get the Giants to 3-0.
Team MVP: Sterling Shepard
Shepard made major contributions in what has become a formidable aerial attack for the third consecutive game, racking up 73 yards on five receptions, including a 23-yard touchdown catch from Eli Manning in the first quarter. He’s been a reliable target for Manning so far, and his MVP status is more of season award as it is just for Week 3, considering there weren’t too many options after blowing a 21-9 lead. He knows how to find holes in the secondary, and the calm, composed, and professional manner in which he has conducted himself with thus far has elevated him to a leadership role on this team. Giants fans can only hope that some of that can rub off on Beckham.