Odell Beckham Jr. turned 24 on Saturday. On Sunday, he blew out the candles with a pair of touchdown grabs in the Giants’ 28-23 victory over the Eagles at MetLife Stadium.
Beckham otherwise was relatively quiet with four catches for 46 yards, but the Giants got contributions from their other wide receivers. Sterling Shepard and Roger Lewis Jr. each caught a touchdown pass from Eli Manning and Victor Cruz had a 46-yard reception before leaving with a sprained ankle.
“It was a game of big plays,” Lewis said. “We knew that we were going to have to do that coming in. We knew that they had a physical defense, so we had to do our part to get open.”
Beckham got open twice for touchdowns in the first half. He caught a slant pass and turned it into a 26-yard touchdown in the first quarter for the first points of the game and hauled in a 1-yard fade pass in the second quarter as the Giants took a 21-10 lead into halftime.
“I couldn’t get a better present,” Beckham said. “My teammates, my coaches, this is everything you needed to cap off, or start, the weekend. It was a great win we had. We fought for it. Even at times when it looked like they still could win the game, we fought for it.”
Manning (22-for-36, 257 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions) also threw scoring passes of 30 yards to Lewis in the first quarter and 32 yards to Shepard in the third.
“I think everybody knows that you’ve got to be ready,” Manning said. “The ball is going to be spread around. Defenses are going to play different coverages. We might have certain plays that go to one guy or a certain guy where you’re the first read, but they’re playing lots of different coverages, mixing up things, so everybody has to be ready. Guys were stepping up and making some nice plays, and we have to continue to do that.”
It was the second NFL touchdown for Lewis, an undrafted rookie out of Bowling Green. Lewis has three career receptions, so that’s a pretty nice ratio.
“My playmaking ability from college is still adjusting in the NFL because it is kind of different,” he said. “I want to be able to be a playmaker. I kind of feed off of guys like Odell. When he scored, I was like, ‘Hey, I have got to go get me one.’ So with me being an undrafted guy, I am going to have to play with a chip on my shoulder and be able to make plays.”
Said Beckham: “We had a good game plan and guys made plays. Roger Lewis came in, unfortunately Vic rolls his ankle. We have our young guys. You have to come in, you have to make plays. You have to do what we feel like you’re capable of doing. He did above and beyond.
“Still things we need to clean up in the receiving corps. Couple of drops we had. We just need to come down with them. We need to be more efficient.”
Anthony Rieber | Newsday.com | November 7, 2016