Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Josh Norman, Round 2. It’s the matchup everyone wants to see, except maybe if you’re the New York Giants.
They might want to avoid the potential distractions and have Beckham against a lesser cornerback when they play the Washington Redskins on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. After seeing what Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown did to the Redskins other starting cornerback, Bashaud Breeland, that might be the matchup the Giants prefer. Beckham’s already had his fair share of success against Breeland in prior matchups.
Based on the first two weeks, the Giants might be able to keep Beckham away from the Redskins’ top cornerback for significant snaps, for parts of the game at least. Norman has spent most of his first two games as a Redskin at left cornerback. That is where he’s most comfortable.
But could’ve, should’ve, would’ve. It wasn’t.
What happened was that Beckham was flagged for three unnecessary roughness penalties in that game. He was suspended for using his body as a human missile on Norman in the third quarter.
Let’s be clear. Norman and Beckham are not friends. They don’t like each other. They’ve traded barbs on multiple occasions since that December day. But Sunday when they meet again at MetLife Stadium it will the matchup to watch — if it happens.
“Yes, we play the Redskins. Looking forward to it,” Beckham said when asked about the impending matchup after the Giants beat the Saints on Sunday. “2-0 going into the division, playing the Redskins, it’s going to be a fun game.”
“I have the utmost respect for law enforcement and people who have put their lives on the line,” Brooks said. “And that will never change.”
“When you talk about real change, although a protest in itself doesn’t change anything, it forces people to talk about it and it tugs on the social conscience of the citizens. So that’s the biggest thing, how to get this topic in the minds of all those around the country and make them confront their own beliefs and thoughts and reasonings behind what they support and what they don’t. And usually to do that, you have to disrupt something.”
The Eagles didn’t really disrupt anything before their 29-14 victory over the Bears. No team or league rule was violated, the game went on as scheduled, and Carson Wentz did nothing to temper the expectation that he’ll become a big star soon.
As New Orleans coach Sean Payton explained last week, the Saints went into that game last season saying they were going to limit Beckham’s catches and yardage. They would use Breaux and give him help. But even the best-laid plans can be ruined by a player of Beckham’s talent.
“It sure seemed like that was a challenge for us,” Payton said.
Beckham had eight catches for 130 yards and three touchdowns that afternoon last season against the up-and-coming Breaux (who is currently sidelined with a broken leg) in New Orleans. It’s proof that having a top cornerback doesn’t necessarily guarantee success against Beckham.
Norman did ultimately have success against him last season when he was with the Carolina Panthers. He followed Beckham throughout that Week 15 contest (except into the slot) and got the Giants star off his game.