If someone had just become attuned to the NFL this season, they’d wonder what the hell the big deal was with this Odell Beckham guy. His histrionics dominated the headlines of his mediocre football team, culminating in him losing his mind at a kicking net and breaking down in tears.
It’s maddening, and if you indeed remembered just how special the wideout was over the past two seasons, it was enough to make you question if it was worth it. The New York Giants offense was sputtering despite all of its outside weapons, and Beckham looked beatable. More worryingly, it seemed that everyone knew how to beat him — just get under his skin a little bit, and he would unravel.
After all the hullabaloo, it was encouraging to see Beckham get his first touchdown of the season in Week 5, and make up with that pesky net. And yet, he didn’t crack 60 receiving yards and the Giants lost again. As it turns out, he was simply re-introducing himself to us (and the net).
As of Week 6, however, OBJ is truly back.
Odell Cornelious Beckham, Jr. had eight receptions for 222 yards and two touchdowns, the second of which came on a fourth down with the Giants trailing and with less than two minutes to play. It also culminated with Odell finally making an honest woman out of that net:
Although the Ravens nearly came back and stole it at the death, Beckham’s touchdown scamper proved to be the deciding score, and all of a sudden he reminded everyone why we paid attention in the first place — because he’s just that good. He also remains a star, like the one Kirby rides to get from level to level:
As you may realize if you’ve been following this column, the NFC East is rich with young talent and good teams this year. The Giants sit in last place at 3-3, but none of the three teams ahead of them are sure things to remain at their high level — the Cowboys and Eagles are too reliant on rookies, and Washington is too reliant on Kirk Cousins. The Giants have their fair share of problems, to be sure — their offensive line and their secondary, to be specific — but as long as they have a generational talent like OBJ, they can’t be counted out of anything.
Other Week 6 Winners
Matthew Stafford: Who would have though the most entertaining game of the week was going to be Lions-Rams? Stafford played so well, he beat Case Keenum on a day when the latter QB completed 19 passes in a row. Very few — if any — quarterbacks can make all the throws Stafford can. Where he falls behind the elite signal callers of the league is consistency in his decision making, and he made very few mistakes on Sunday. He also threw this ridiculous ball:
The Lions’ passing offense hasn’t really suffered that much from the sudden retirement of Calvin Johnson, and while Marvin Jones has been a stud as his replacement, the talent levels aren’t comparable. The common thread is Stafford, whose Lions are once again in a fight for the division with the disappointing Green Bay Packers — what’s that? They’re both chasing Sam Bradford’s Vikings? Well, good luck to ’em then.
Rob Gronkowski: Tom Brady got to announce to the world he was back in Week 5 against the Browns, but it took him a week to really get on the same page with his bread-and-butter target. We might have had high hopes for the Bengals going into the season, but they’ve been mediocre so far, and mediocre is not going to cut it against the Patriots. Gronk decimated Cincinnati’s safeties and linebackers to the tune of seven catches for 162 yards and a touchdown, and he and fellow TE Martellus Bennett were the Pats’ two leading receivers. They’re also both excellent run blockers, so we could see two tight ends from the same team in the Pro Bowl this season. Marty B might be a hell of a character, but he’s not overshadowing Gronk, already in the conversation for the greatest tight end ever, anytime soon.
Lamar Miller: Brock Osweiler’s big contract looks like an even bigger mistake, as every game he plays with the Texans further confirms that he is the erratic game manager he was in limited action for the Broncos last season. Houston’s strength remains its defense, even with J.J. Watt out for the year, but they’re going to need other people to step up if they want to improve on last season. Enter Lamar Miller, who’s been a yards-per-carry monster for years now, waiting to get the ball more often as a lead back. He was fed 24 times on Sunday night, and look at that — he still averaged over six yards per touch for 149 yards and a score. And oh, what a score it was:
The AFC South is still the AFC South, and the 4-2 Texans are in the driver’s seat. Osweiler is going to have to improve if the Texans want to have any chance in the playoffs, but it sure looks like they’ll be able to ride Miller to a division title.