NBA coaches and players have yet to figure out any full proof plans for stopping superstars like LeBron James. Other than prayer, the options for head-to-head matchups are limited. In terms of winning the game, one school of thought involves maintaining equal focus on James and his teammates. The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player might get his numbers, but if others don't, odds of victory arguably increase. Just ask the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham's career remains in the infancy stage, but his production is all grown up. This Sunday, his number of career regular season games will match James' uniform number, 23. So far, Beckham's stats are astonishing: 154 receptions, 2,168 yards and 20 touchdowns. That's just under 100 yards and one touchdown each game.
However, the Giants are only 9-13 in those 22 games including a 5-5 record this season. That's good enough for first place in the NFC East and a one game lead over the Redskins, but hardly impressive overall. Therefore, perhaps that NBA line of thinking is in play with Beckham. He might get his numbers, but the chances of winning rise if others don't join the statistical potent party.
Will Blackmon doesn't buy the comparison. Not even a little.
"No, don't let anybody get anything," the cornerback shot back with incredulous tone when presented with this possible plan. "He doesn't get the LeBron rule."
That's not to say Blackmon views Beckham as anything less than a game-breaker. "Odell is an awesome player and he makes it happen for sure," Blackmon said. His issue comes down more on the sport than the player.
"[Football is] a team sport. In basketball, yeah, [one player] can take over," he said.
Beckham certainly took over his first career meeting against the Redskins, finishing with three touchdowns and 143 yards on 12 receptions in New York's 24-13 win last December. Though the numbers weren't quite so prolific when the teams met Week this season, but 7-79-1 helped get the job done in a 32-21 win.
"Well, he's obviously an explosive player and he's got unbelievable hands," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of Beckham. "He can adjust to any ball in the air, you know what I mean? It's going to be challenge for our guys."
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However, Rueben Randle ended up as New York's most productive receiver. His lone game with 100 yards came in Week 3 as did one of his three touchdowns.
The Giants have won five of the last six meetings and outscored the Redskins 101-48 in three straight wins with Gruden on the sideline.
"Rueben Randle has given us problems at times," Gruden noted. "So I think when you put the Giants on tape and you watch them and you watch our last three games against them, I think guys have to be excited about this opportunity to compete against the New York Giants."
Ultimately, Blackmon isn't concerned about any specific Giant target making plays. The focus is on stopping them all when possible. All includes quarterback Eli Manning.
"The main thing is stay on top of our coverages and get pressure on Eli," Blackmon said. "He's not going to scramble and run around."
During a pause in the conversation, Blackmon offered up a blast from the past where such defensive plans might apply.
"The only person with rules like that was Randy Moss. He was going to get his regardless," Blackmon said. "No, don't let [Beckham] get [stats]. No. No. No LeBron rules for him."
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