Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the players that needs to step up big time for the New York Giants. It’s not that Beckham has been bad. Far from it. There’s not a team in the league that would turn down the services of Beckham, if they could somehow add him to their roster without the salary cap coming into effect.
But we don’t live in a world without a salary cap, and the Giants are expecting more out of Beckham because of the massive extension that he signed earlier this year. That contract gives Beckham more guaranteed money than any receiver in history, and through he first four weeks, Beckham hasn’t put up the numbers of someone who will make that much.
The point isn’t to bash Beckham, it’s that higher paid players need to make more contributions to make their contracts worth it. Beckham has 331 yards so far, but despite the numbers not looking bad on the surface level, he hasn’t scored a touchdown yet and that’s the main point brought up by his critics at this point.
Beckham has had double-digit touchdowns in every season except for his last one, where he was injured early on when he had three touchdowns. But going into the game against Carolina, we’ll be past the mark where Beckham was injured last year, and he’ll enter the game without scoring. Still, despite having three less touchdowns than he did at the same point last year, Beckham is confident.
“That’s just the way I’m built, that’s just my mentality is I always feel like I can do the most, feels like I can go for a thousand yards every game, not literally, but it’s just how I feel. I don’t feel like I’ve been stopped,” the receiver said recently. “I just don’t feel like I can be covered. I’ve worked an entire offseason to be able to bring the best me to this team, and I just want to be able to do that.”
It’s a bold claim, but if Beckham can back it up against the Panthers, the Giants will have a much better chance of winning. After all, his two best statistical games were a close loss and a win, while the two losses where Beckham didn’t put up more than 100 yards weren’t very competitive. If the Giants pull out a win, the early season trends say that Beckham will have 100 yards or over.
But will that happen, or while the star receiver be covered well by a secondary that will certainly have a focus on him? We’ll see. It depends on whether or not the Giants passing attack can exploit every opportunity that does manage to come around. After all, that’s what Beckham himself said about how the Giants can improve.
“There’s opportunities, there’s not opportunities. It’s just about taking advantage of the opportunities that are there.”