Giants receiver Beckham Jr. sets career high vs. Ravens
— When the Ravens top cornerback went down, the entire secondary went with him.
Jimmy Smith was responsible for covering Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., arguably the NFL’s most talented at his position. He contained Beckham to just two catches for 11 yards receiving in the opening half. New York quarterback Eli Manning threw for 107 yards before halftime and Smith led Baltimore with five tackles.
But late in the second quarter, Smith entered the league’s concussion protocol. He did not come out of the locker room for the second half Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.
With only Sharece Wright, Will Davis and Tavon Young left at cornerback, Beckham and the entire Giants passing game exploded in the second half. Wright was inactive against Washington a week ago and Young is a rookie playing in his sixth NFL game.
“The backups aren’t as good as the starters, but they should be able to get in there and play the way we want them to play … We played outstanding in the first half,” safety Eric Weddle said. “It’s not just one guy, it’s our whole defense. It’s the secondary as a group. We’ll work on it, we’ll get better. It’s the little things.”
Weddle forced Beckham to fumble on New York’s first offensive play of the afternoon, which set up a Ravens touchdown for an early 10-0 advantage.
Beckham finished a career-high 222 yards receiving on 10 receptions. Six of his catches and 211 of those yards came after Smith’s injury, as did both of his touchdowns. He and Manning guided the Giants to a 27-23 comeback victory.
Beckham combined for 141 yards on his two touchdown receptions.
Ravens kicker Justin Tucker gave Baltimore a 13-10 lead with a 39-yard field with 2:22 left in the third quarter. On the first play of the ensuing possession, Manning completed a 75-yard bomb down the right sideline to Beckham for the go-ahead touchdown.
After a 2-yard touchdown by Terrance West game the Ravens a 2320 advantage with 2:04 remaining in the game, Beckham caught a short pass over the middle and ran the rest of the way for a 66-yard, game-winning touchdown.
“Big plays always kill you, we say it everyday. We’ve been a great tackling team,” Weddle said. “When you miss a tackle or are out of position in a quick passing game like this, it can kill you. That’s what happened. We better learn from this.”
Manning threw for 296 of his 403 yards passing after halftime. Two of his three touchdown passes came in the second half, too – both to Beckham.
Besides losing Smith, Baltimore was without starting linebackers Elvis Dumervil and CJ Mosley. Terrell Suggs left the game in the fourth quarter with an arm injury, but head coach John Harbaugh made no excuses.
“That makes it a challenge, but we’re certainly capable of not giving up big plays,” he said. “We’re going to work at it, we’re going to look for guys, we’re going to teach our guys, we’re going to coach our guys. Our guys are going to work hard at it. We have guys who are fully capable of covering guys out there. We’ve done it all year.”
It was a historic day for Manning, who reached the 300 career touchdown passes mark. He passed John Elway for the sixth-most all time. His 32 completions also give him 3,846 for his career, passing Drew Bledsoe for eighth place on the alltime list.
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