Odell Beckham Jr. had a typically excellent game last night, hauling in 11 passes for 150 yards, but he could never get the big one, and it showed in the result.
The Giants marched the ball up and down the field in their 24-19 loss in Philadelphia, outgaining the Eagles by 184 yards. Eli Manning attempted 63 passes, a Giants franchise record, but couldn’t get into the end zone on a series of late drives. Beckham was particularly disappointed in himself on the play before Manning’s game-sealing interception, a lofted ball to the end zone that Beckham was just too exhausted to get to.
“I just didn’t make the play,” Beckham said. “It was where it needed to be, I just needed a little more gas in me to go get it.”
In the tunnel after the game, Beckham was reportedly growling, yelling, and banging his head against an aluminum gate, until he was guided into the locker room by security and owner John Mara.
This video shows some of the scene, though none of the head-banging.
Here’s how the tabloids described it. The Post:
He stood in the tunnel adjacent to the visitors’ locker room and fumed, emitting guttural sounds of anguish in a display of utter frustration.
Then he stood facing a steel wall and banged his head into it, once, twice, three times, before team officials, including co-owner John Mara, consoled him, with Mara patting him on the back as Beckham slowly made his way into the locker room.
[W]hen the game ended, all he could do was growl and scream in the tunnel outside the Giants locker room.
Beckham did not answer any questions about his outburst after he was done yelling and wailing at an aluminum gate...
It’s fine to be disappointed, especially after losing an eminently winnable game like that one (and, incidentally, yet another game in which Giants players believe they got hosed by the refs), and to have lost the chance to head into an extended holiday break by clinching a playoff spot. The Giants will almost certainly reach the postseason, probably this weekend (the list of things that would have to go wrong over the next two weeks is a long one), but they appear to be a team that plays up or down to the level of their competition, and they don’t have much of a margin for error.
This is a much-changed team from the Giants’ last Super Bowl—just six players have rings from 2011, and amazingly, only 16 players on the roster have playoff experience with any team. Beckham, in his third year, hasn’t known anything but disappointment. I’m glad he really, really wants to make the postseason, but I hope he knows that postseason losses tend to hurt even worse than this.