Look no further than the playbook and film study to explain why New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had a down game on Sunday, including several uncharacteristic drops.
Beckham, who banged up a finger on his right hand on Sunday in addition to the ankle injury he suffered during the preseason, said that his poor performance in Week 4 was due to film study. The Giants star playmaker by no means had a bad game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — seven catches for 90 yards — but the drops were clearly noticeable.
He said that after the game, several players from Tampa Bay’s secondary had figured out his routes and were thus able to neutralize him.
“They were like, ‘We know you’re running a certain route.’ So, it was just me putting extra onto a route, just trying to create more space and I kind of have to trust myself more in the sense that when I make my break, not everybody is going to be able to come out and close that little gap,” Beckham said on Wednesday.
“So, there’s a split second where you’re like, ‘Oh, they’re coming on your back.’ And, I told [Eli Manning] the play before that, I caught the ball, ran on the sideline soaking wet, wiped my pants, gloves still soaked, wiped the jersey – soaked. I’m about to take them off, we’re in hurry up. It’s like there’s no time. I was like, ‘If this thing comes this way, I don’t know what’s going to happen.’ It came that way. But, we went back in. We caught some passes after that, so drops don’t really bother me. It’s just something, my confidence is too high. You know, you drop the ball. It’s definitely an accident. I didn’t do it on purpose.”
It isn't exactly groundbreaking stuff, especially since every NFL team watches film ahead of any game.
Then Beckham went into specifics on Tampa Bay knowing his routes, in particular, his discussion with Buccaneers defensive back Vernon Hargreaves that shed light on how Tampa Bay was able to neutralize him.
”Yeah, I mean, they study film. I was talking to Hargreaves after the game and he was just like, ‘You know, we know a lot of what you’re doing.’ But, it still just comes to the point where you have to trust it,” Beckham said. “We have to trust [Manning] to make the throw like he did, not put anything extra on because if I didn’t put something extra on it, the timing probably would have been perfectly right. I didn’t get my head around fast enough, but we’ll be alright.”
Sunday represented Beckham’s best performance of the year as he continues to heal from having missed the season opener due to that ankle injury. He is currently on pace for 1,025 receiving yards, a number that would easily be the lowest of what is now his fourth year in the NFL.