The game admittedly became a test for Odell Beckham Jr., a dare thrown at the Giants’ superstar receiver, a challenge to his proclaimed emotional growth and maturity.
Beckham had minus-4 yards to show for only two catches in the first half. By the end of Sunday’s 33-18 loss to the Saints at MetLife Stadium, he had only 60 yards on seven catches and 11 targets, and 27 of those yards came on one reception in the waning minutes.
Eli Manning clearly misfired on three throws to him, and Beckham didn’t look particularly pleased after one overthrow in the second quarter. He soon had to leave for an IV because he was cramping up.
The fluid fill-up worked. But the Giants are 1-3, the offense hasn’t scored 20 points in any of the losses and Beckham has yet to score a touchdown.
After another offensive struggle and defeat, he was feeling rather frustrated.
“I don’t have a Richter scale of where the frustration level is, but it’s definitely frustrating,” Beckham said.
The test was to not let the day’s frustrations get the better of him.
“Oh yeah, today was the day, and I’m happy where I stand,” Beckham said. “That same person in there that has that passion and intensity, the one the camera has been on and has made some so-called mistakes by letting out what’s inside, that’s what has propelled me to be where I’m at. That’s what makes me great.
“To have to hold that in and watch what you’re doing because there’s always a camera on, you don’t want this and that, it’s tough to deal with that. But like I said, I’m very happy with how far I’ve come with the growth that I’ve had. It’s just frustrating to lose. I hate losing. But we’ve got an opportunity to do something about it next week.”
Coach Pat Shurmur said he “didn’t sense frustration” from Beckham, adding, “I saw a competitive guy, keeping himself in it.”
New Orleans arrived with the 30th-ranked defense. It also was 30th against the pass. Beckham said the Saints excelled with “a lot of zone coverage.”
Beckham’s season ended after Week 5 last season when he fractured an ankle. He began this regular season armed with a new perspective and a $95-million extension.
“I’m doing everything I can,” said Beckham, who has 31 receptions this season. “I put my all into this. Especially coming toward this year, I sacrificed and made personal changes and done all I can to be the best teammate and bring everything I can every Sunday.
“So it’s a little disappointing when you have to leave like this. You work way too hard five, six days a week for 60 minutes of football. I hate to get out there and waste those 60 minutes.”
So why have things been so hard for this offense so far?
“Tough question,” Beckham said. “It seems like it shouldn’t be this hard, but it is. Or it was today.”