Giants re­ceiver Beck­ham Jr. sets career high vs. Ravens

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GROGAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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.

Fol­low Sean Grogan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

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