The Giants need to start throwing to Odell Beckham Jr. even if the defense sends extra defenders his way.
Bill Streicher/Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
After he turned seven first half targets into seven receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown, the New York Giants targeted Odell Beckham Jr. just one time in the second half and the Philadelphia Eagles shut down the Giants' offense. So what happened?
Beckham blamed his lack of targets and receptions on game flow as the Giants fell behind by several scores early in the second half.
“I think it's just the way the game went. They did a great job of causing some havoc and we didn't help ourselves out,” Beckham said to reporters after the game, per True Jersey.
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Beckham is somewhat correct — the Eagles did play defense differently once they got a lead. However, the main thing the Eagles changed was how they defended Beckham. He no longer saw single coverage — the Eagles used bracket coverage with a defender underneath and over the top.
“A little bit later on, they were playing a little different [against Beckham] once they got the lead,” Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said to reporters. “They did have one defender low, one high to be able to … if he came up vertically up the field, they were in better position to defend him.”
Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis confirmed that the strategy was to take away Beckham. However, he didn't confirm that this strategy was born in the second half alone.
“We had him doubled a lot of the time,” Davis said. “Even when he caught a couple, he did so with a lot of attention his way. The touchdown was the only breakdown that we had. The rest of the night, we put a lot of attention on him.”
If the Eagles were paying extra defensive attention to Beckham in the first half too, and six of seven catches came with “a lot of attention on him”, as Davis said, then why did the Giants refuse to throw it to Beckham anyway? This is a question that the Giants will be asking themselves on Tuesday before they bury the game tape and look ahead to Week 7.