The easiest way for Odell Beckham Jr. to shut down all the hoopla around him would be to put together a monster (and incident-free) game against the Packers on Sunday night. And he can’t ask for much better of an opportunity to light it up for his fantasy team owners than he will in Green Bay, where he and Big Blue are facing a weak and banged-up secondary and will have to pass to match Aaron Rodgers and Co.
“Every time that kid touches the football you think it’s going to be a big one,” Victor Cruz said of Beckham. “So you just want to be able to get him the ball in space and be able to just watch him work.”
The Packers have the No. 29-ranked pass defense thus far this season and will be missing top cornerback Sam Shields. Green Bay’s No. 2 cornerback Damarious Randall is questionable with a groin injury as well.
The precedent is there for a huge game from Beckham. In the two games without Shields, the Packers surrendered 182 receiving yards and a touchdown to Stefon Diggs in Week 2 and 205 receiving yards and two touchdowns to Marvin Jones in Week 3. And while those are two good receivers, neither has the track record of Beckham.
Earlier this week Ben McAdoo said he thinks his offense is ready to break out. So does he think Beckham is primed for a huge game in Green Bay?
“That’s just talk right now,” McAdoo said. “We need to go out and do it. We’re capable of it.”
While Beckham has put up solid numbers this season, aside from last week’s clunker against the Vikings, he hasn’t been up to his usual standard. Beckham averaged 102 yards and .925 touchdowns per game heading into this season, but has accumulated 303 receiving yards with no touchdowns in four games this year.
But the story all week hasn’t been about what Beckham has done with the ball, but rather how he’s been behaving. Following his sideline tantrum in Week 3, Beckham drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in Week 4 when he became upset with Xavier Rhodes for a late hit, which earned him a $24,309 fine from the league. Given Beckham’s previous antics against Josh Norman last season, that penalty on Monday put him back in the spotlight — which only shined brighter after he passed the buck after the game and told ESPN on Tuesday he wasn’t having “fun” anymore. On Thursday, Beckham took some responsibility, but by that time the news had already spread to the Vatican.
“I think everyone has had the opportunity to speak their minds on Odell,” McAdoo said about John Mara being asked about Beckham at the Vatican. “We’ll leave it at that.”
All week long, Giants players and coaches have had to answer questions about Beckham as a result of the star receiver’s actions.
“I think we have a close-knit group of guys,” McAdoo said. “We have a strong locker room, a confident locker room. We’ll push through it.”
In an odd sort of way, McAdoo said the Beckham saga could have a benefit to his team.
“I think every time you go through something together it makes you stronger,” he said.
There’s been plenty of speculation that opponents may try to bait Beckham — and that may have been what Rhodes was doing — because they know they can get in his head. On Thursday, offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said opponents trying to bait Beckham are afraid to match up one-on-one against him. Asked Friday if he agreed with his coordinator’s analysis, Cruz said only, “Next question.”
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News