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Odell Beckham Jr. stars again in losing effort

Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants

Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants reacts after making a catch for a first down against the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 16, 2014 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Mike Stobe

With only 35 seconds left in Sunday's game and the Giants facing a fourth-and-6, everyone had to know they would try to get the ball to Odell Beckham Jr. Who else would they turn to?

After all the misfires and all the interceptions in the first three quarters, the Giants still were in the game against the San Francisco 49ers. And that was when the rookie wide receiver seemed to come alive.

On the Giants' first series of the fourth quarter, Beckham had three receptions -- all of them for first downs -- before Eli Manning's fourth interception ended the threat.

On the second series, Beckham made a magnificent 37-yard reception to put the ball on the 4-yard line -- four plays before Manning's fifth interception.

Which brings us to the Giants' last possession and fourth-and-6. They again threw the ball to Beckham, who stretched out but got only his fingertips on it. He couldn't haul it in, effectively ending the game.

"I've just got to catch the ball," Beckham said after the 16-10 loss. "Got to hold on to it. It's a play that we've got to make and I'm just frustrated that I couldn't."

Beckham remained down on the turf for a moment after the play, and when he got up, he ripped his helmet off and threw it on the ground. Afterward, he apologized for the gesture.

"That's just the love of the game," he said. "It's just the passion in the heat of the moment. I shouldn't have done it."

Beckham's passion came after a game in which he finished with six catches for 93 yards, and returned three punts for 39 yards. All that wasn't enough to prevent the Giants from losing their fifth straight, but it certainly was enough to impress 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who exchanged jerseys with Beckham after the game.

Asked what Kaepernick said in their postgame exchange, Beckham said he told him, "You're a hell of a player. Keep grinding, keep inspiring and just keep doing what you're doing."

Beckham had two big plays that people still were talking about after the game -- a third- down grab in the third quarter in which he reached out and tried to extend the ball past the first-down marker and that 37-yard catch in which he leaped and battled 49ers cornerback Parrish Cox for the ball.

Cox got enough of it to jostle the ball loose, but Beckham, as he fell backward, managed to grab it with both hands before hitting the turf.

The 49ers challenged whether he was inbounds on the play, but replays confirmed that the receiver's rear end landed inside the sideline.

Beckham wasn't impressed with the play, saying he should have caught the ball the first time around and not needed a second effort. And ultimately, the Giants couldn't cash in, throwing three incomplete passes and an interception from the 4-yard line as they attempted to score the go-ahead TD.

"We've got to put the ball in the end zone," Beckham said. "It's one of those things where our execution needs to come in. We've got to put that one in the end zone."

New York Sports