Four days before the Giants opened the regular season, Odell Beckham Jr. was asked about the challenge of matching the statistics he produced in his first two NFL seasons.
“I just want to get better every year. The numbers mean something in a sense, but the 6-10 number, flip that around, 10-6 means a lot more,” Beckham said then, referring to the Giants’ record in consecutive seasons since he was drafted 12th overall in 2014.
“I just hate losing," he said. "I’m cool with other people being open, we’re scoring. There’s no better feeling than being on the field and everything is clicking and we’re winning games.”
Well, the Giants are still waiting for everything to click offensively.
They have been winning games, however, and in the process, despite inconsistency from two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback Eli Manning and throughout the entire unit, Beckham has managed to again match the standard he set.
And, just as Beckham hoped, the record has been flipped as the Giants take a 10-5 record – having already clinched a playoff spot – into their regular-season finale Sunday at Washington.
Beckham's production in his career has been spectacular and remarkably steady.
Here is a look at his three seasons:
2014 (12 games): 91 catches, 1,305 yards, 12 TDs
2015 (15 games): 96 catches, 1,450 yards, 13 TDs
2016 (15 games): 96 catches, 1,323 yards, 10 TDs
In 1932, the Giants' Ray Flaherty led the NFL with 350 receiving yards (on a league-best 21 catches).
In the 84 years since, no other Giants player has finished the season No. 1 in the league in receiving yards. Beckham enters Week 17 just 30 yards behind Colts WR T.Y. Hilton and 10 yards ahead of Falcons WR Julio Jones.
Beckham also needs 86 yards against the Redskins to finish with the most receiving yards by a player in his first three seasons in NFL history (future Hall of Famer Randy Moss had 4,163. Beckham is currently at 4,078).
Beckham is expected to speak with the media today and he’ll undoubtedly be asked about the third installment of his rivalry with Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, and whether he expects to play in a game that will have no effect on the Giants’ position in the standings and in playoff seeding.
The Giants are locked into the fifth seed and could end up playing any one of four teams in the wild-card round with the NFC North champion (Detroit or Green Bay) being the most likely – unless Seattle loses to 2-13 San Francisco. If the 49ers pull off the mammoth upset, the Seahawks would play host to the Giants.
Art Stapleton | northjersey.com | December 28, 2016