Whenever a team steps on the field against the NY Giants, they have to answer one question: How do we stop Odell Beckham Jr.? Since entering the league, Beckham Jr. has been a match-up nightmare resulting in highlight catches and insane numbers. His quick feet, route running ability, and hands are the type of attributes to give cornerbacks and defensive coordinators nightmares. Enter Bashaud Breeland.
Ninety picks after Beckham Jr. was drafted by the Giants, the Redskins selected Bashaud Breeland. It didn't take long to realize Breeland was a gamer. The game wasn't too big for him and his competitive edge stood out. It's early and he's already had some good battles against Dez Bryant and other top receivers in the league. Breeland's game seems to elevate against better competition. That trend continued against Beckham Jr. in Sunday's match-up against the Giants which the Redskins won 20-14. Let's take a look at the tape:
1. Giants are going to use a slant/flat concept here. Sometimes you can get a natural "rub" to free up one of your receivers. Giants use their TE in-line so Beckham isn't on the line of scrimmage. This makes it harder to get your hands on him and gives him more room to use his feet to create space. Breeland is still in a press technique.
Beckham pushes up-field and breaks it inside. Breeland breaks inside with him without losing a step.
The ball doesn't come Beckham's way but if it did, Breeland had him blanketed.
2. The Giants did a bunch of things with Beckham. Keeping Odell in the backfield and then motioning him out was a popular one. This helps them two fold. On one hand, it can help Eli Manning determine the coverage being run. On the other hand, you can sometimes get better match-ups by motioning out. This time, Breeland follows him to the tight stack on the right side. Breeland plays off because of the stack.
Beckham uses the seam route as a natural pick for his drag route. Breeland is playing catch up now.
Beckham makes the catch and gains nine yards.
3. On this play, Beckham is going to run a hitch route in behind the TE's dig route. Breeland able to get back to press technique.
Breeland does a good job not biting on any of the footwork and staying square to Beckham. This allows him to get physical with Beckham from here to the top of the route.
The ball goes elsewhere. Breeland might be letting him know about it a little bit.
4. Breeland has man coverage on Beckham but is playing off coverage. Late down and long distance. Beckham is running a deep curl with a wheel route behind him. Typically, you want to hit the wheel route in man coverage and the curl in zone coverage.
Beckham pushes Breeland deep and cuts inside. Manning flushed from pocket but sees Breeland start crashing on curl which opens up sideline for wheel route.
Eli throws the man coverage beater and it ends up turning into an interception. If he is not flushed, mayne he throws it to Beckham who has a step on Breeland.
5. Breeland is back in press technique. Beckham is running a stutter and go.
Beckham does his stutter and Breeland reacts. This gives Beckham half a step.
Breeland uses his recovery speed to get back in line with him. A poorly thrown ball creates a back shoulder opportunity for Beckham but Breeland becomes the "Beckham Catch" silhouette to knock this ball away.
6. Giants are going to try the slant/flat concept again with Beckham on the outside. Breeland in press technique.
Breeland gets really physical with Beckham at the point of attack. Look at the way Beckham's body bends.
Manning tries to fit the ball in low and away where only Odell can reach it but Breeland is all over him and knocks the ball away.
7. Breeland in off coverage with bail technique. Beckham is running a deep curl.
Beckham does a good job of eating up Breeland's cushion and getting Breeland into a full sprint deep before he breaks on his route.
Manning delivers a good ball on time and Beckham picks up 14 yards on this one.
8. Here is another fly route by Beckham against Breeland in press coverage.
Breeland gets physical with Beckham again and forces him outside.
I'm not sure if Breeland thought Beckham was going to break his route off again but he peaks into the backfield over the wrong shoulder. This allows Beckham to get past him.
Luckily for Breeland, his physicality messed up with timing of the play and Manning overthrows Beckham down the sideline.
9. Beckham on the backside with an isolated slant route. Breeland on him in press coverage in a 1-on-1 situation.
Breeland continues getting physical with Beckham frustrating the receiver.
Breeland is all over Beckham and the ball goes elsewhere.
10. Beckham on another fly route against Breeland in press coverage.
Breeland gets a hand on Beckham's shoulder and physically just starts driving him towards the sideline.
You can tell Beckham is getting frustrated with Breeland because now he's putting hands on Breeland. Breeland is step for step with him.
Beckham gets physical with Breeland as Breeland is also going for the ball. Breeland falls down and the ball is incomplete. Breeland looks for offensive pass interference but doesn't get it.
11. Breeland in press coverage again. Beckham is running a Post-Corner route on this play.
Beckham gets a really good release. Breeland doesn't even get a hand on him. Typically, but not always, when you are running an in-breaking route, you want to get an inside release so you don't have to go back through the defender. The fake to the post route is now much more believeable as he went for an inside release.
When Beckham hits his step towards the post route, Breeland tries to cut underneath it. Beckham's next step is towards the corner.
Breeland, with his recovery speed, gets right back underneath the route and forces a perfect pass which Manning delivers just over the out-reached finger tips of Breeland. This results in a gain of 31 yards.
12. Earlier in the game, Beckham was able to get a quick 14 yards on this route when Breeland was playing off coverage with bail technique. This time he is in press coverage.
Breeland stays physical throughout the route.
When Beckham breaks on his route, Breeland gives him no separation.
13. A Post-Corner worked earlier in the game for 31 yards and Giants run a Corner-Post here. Breeland over Beckham in off coverage.
Beckham makes his break to the corner route and Breeland doesn't bite on it. Beckham heads to the post.
Manning puts up a poor throw and Breeland should have pulled this interception down. If there is one aspect to Breeland's game that he needs to work on is his consistency with ball skills. If Breeland makes this catch, it puts the game away.
Beckham finished the game with 9 catches for 142 yards. If you watched the game, that's hard to fathom because he seemed mostly ineffective. There may have been other opportunities, but only three of those catches came against Basuad Breeland. Of those three, one was created by a pick route and another came in off coverage in bail technique. Only one catch came in a one on one situation and it required a perfect pass. As long as both teams take care of their own, this is a match-up that should contiue to entertain for years to come.
Paul Conner is the Film Analyst at Breaking Burgundy. You can follow him on Twitter @P_ConnerJr