MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The best thing about the hype surrounding last night’s game, according to Odell Beckham Jr., was that it allowed him to share some of his spotlight.
All week ESPN touted this matchup between two friends and former LSU teammates who share a knack for making one-handed catches. Commercials, pregame shows, social media — even old-fashioned newspaper articles — were trumpeting this not as the Giants against the Dolphins but as Beckham against Jarvis Landry.
Latest Giants stories
That tends to happen when 5-7 teams face each other in prime time, by the way.
But their first meeting in the NFL also was an opportunity for Landry to get a taste of the attention Beckham has been getting since his one-handed catch last year against the Cowboys.
Beckham reveled in “being able to see that Monday Night commercial and a guy who, in my mind, is a very underrated receiver in this league.’’
“To be able to do the things that he does and just still stay under the radar, I don’t know,” Beckham said. “But it’s great to finally see his talents and his skills actually being praised.”
As for that pregame showdown that was promised, it turned out to be quite routine. Or at least as routine as a display of one-handed catches, leaping grabs and lying-down plucks can be. There was no catch-off. No slam dunk contest-type scoring. Just two players at either end of the field honing their entertaining skills. The winner, these two competitors clearly understood, would not be determined based on a silly acrobatics show, but only when the game began.
Beckham and Landry did meet briefly at midfield and exchanged a quick embrace. “It’s one of those games that I’ve had in my mind for a long time, playing against Jarvis and being able to do this,” Beckham said.
Long before ESPN started hyping it, it turns out.
“There’s nothing extra that can really be added to it. We both understand the situation,” Beckham said. “We finally get to play against each other.”
Are Giants must-see TV?
Tom Coughlin has spoken about the Giants being “relevant” this season. That perception was on the line in no more direct way last night than how the game against the Dolphins affected their upcoming schedule.
If the Giants beat Miami, their Dec. 27 road game against the Vikings will be flexed to prime time with an 8:30 p.m. start on NBC. If the Giants lose, essentially the rest of the country will have no further use for them and that game will be played as scheduled at 1 p.m. on Fox.
The Steelers and Ravens are scheduled for the prime-time game that day. If the Giants lost (or tied!) against the Dolphins, that game will remain in place.
Stony Brook on the board
Since October, Will Tye has been the first and only Stony Brook University product in the NFL. Last night he got the Seawolves into the end zone, too.
The rookie tight end made his first career TD reception on a 5-yard pass from Eli Manning with 44 seconds left in the first half. The touchdown tied the score at 17. Tye has developed into a dependable target for Manning in recent weeks with veteran tight ends Daniel Fells and Larry Donnell landing on IR.
Damontre a Dolphin
The Dolphins must have liked what they saw from Damontre Moore when they were preparing for the Giants, because they claimed him off waivers. The move will be official today, so Moore was unable to give the Dolphins any help against his former team. But he should help Miami’s pass rush.
Moore was waived by the Giants on Friday after a series of transgressions, the last a locker- room altercation with Cullen Jenkins over a pair of headphones that Beckham was giving to teammates as a holiday gift.
LT Ereck Flowers, who was carted off the field last week with an ankle sprain, started for the Giants . . . DE Robert Ayers Jr. (neck) started after missing practice Friday and Saturday . . . S Brandon Meriweather (knee) missed a second straight game.