As Giants roll, Beck­ham makes fewer big plays

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Tom Cana­van

Odell Beck­ham Jr. had a big game against the Ravens last month to start the Giants on their cur­rent five-game win­ning streak. Since then, how­ever, the wide re­ceiver's con­tri­bu­tion has dropped off.

When the New York Giants started their five-game win­ning streak, it was Odell Beck­ham Jr. who led the way.

The big-play wide re­ceiver had eight catches for a ca­reer-high 222 yards and two touch­downs, in­clud­ing a win­ning 66-yard catch and run with 1:24 to play, as the Giants snapped a three­game los­ing streak with a 2723 win over the Bal­ti­more Ravens on Oct. 16.

The per­for­mance started New York (7-3) on the way to its long­est reg­u­lar-sea­son win­ning streak since 2010, and put it in the play­off hunt for the first time in years.

Iron­i­cally, Beck­ham hasn’t had any other big games in the run, and he seemed an­noyed an­swer­ing ques­tions af­ter the Giants’ 22-16 win over the Bears this past week­end.

For the record, Beck­ham has had 24 catches for 238 yards and three touch­downs in the last four games. He is ob­vi­ously con­tribut­ing to the of­fense, but he is av­er­ag­ing 9.9 yards in that span. It’s al­most five yards a catch less than his ca­reer av­er­age.

Op­pos­ing de­fenses have had some­thing to do with that. He is draw­ing a lot of dou­ble cov­er­ages, but it’s just not the same Beck­ham.

Beck­ham in­sists all he cares about are win­ning and get­ting to the play­offs for the first time since he drafted in the first round in 2014.

“We know that we haven’t played to our full po­ten­tial. We’re still com­ing away with wins,” he said of the of­fense. “We just need to step it up in each and ev­ery way. Put games away when they need to be put away.”

That’s been the job of the Giants’ de­fense this sea­son. In all five wins, Steve Spag­n­uolo’s unit has stepped up with the game on the line.

“I think it’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween this year and last year,” Beck­ham said. “Last year, we just didn’t have that same de­fense that’s com­ing up with three or four stops in a row when we needed to. It was 22-16. We stopped them three or four times in a row. Last year, they may have scored once and it would’ve been 23-22 and we didn’t score on of­fense. They’re do­ing a tremen­dous job of clos­ing out games.”

Beck­ham would like noth­ing more than to see the of­fense break out this week against the win­less Cleve­land Browns (0-11). How­ever, he knows he will face a chal­lenge go­ing against corner­back Joe Haden.

“He’s a great cor­ner, some­one who I’ve watched for a long time, even when he was at Florida,” said Beck­ham, who two years ago made his fa­mous one-hand touch­down catch against Dal­las. “We’re friends in a sense. I’m sure when we get out there it’s go­ing to be all com­pe­ti­tion, but at the end, it’s all love. I’m ex­cited about the op­por­tu­nity to go against one of the premier cor­ners in this league.”

Like most of the team, Beck­ham ut­tered the com­pany line that the Giants are tak­ing this game just like any other. They are fo­cused on the Browns and are tak­ing noth­ing for granted.

The other thing the Giants were fo­cused on Wed­nes­day was Thanks­giv­ing.

Prac­tice will be early on Thurs­day and the play­ers will spend time with fam­ily the rest of the day. Beck­ham’s mother, step­fa­ther and sis­ter are com­ing to town.

“I’m not cook­ing, I’m eat­ing,” said Beck­ham, adding his mom and stepdad will prob­a­bly cook. He also plans to watch some foot­ball on tele­vi­sion.

Notes

DE Ja­son Pierre-Paul (knee), OL Mar­shall Ne­w­house (knee), OL Brett Jones (calf) and WR Roger Lewis, Jr. (con­cus­sion) did not prac­tice . ... G Justin Pugh (knee) and WR/re­turner Dwayne Har­ris (wrist) were lim­ited.

BILL KOSTROUN — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New York Giants wide re­ceiver Odell Beck­ham (13) tries to break a tackle from Cincin­nati Ben­gals out­side line­backer Kar­los Dansby (56) dur­ing the fourth quar­ter of an NFL foot­ball game, Monday in East Ruther­ford, N.J.

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