Josh Norman vs. Odell Beckham Jr. Round 3: Not Much To Talk About
Josh Norman and Odell Beckham Jr. are once again getting ready to square off. However, this time around there is less buzz surrounding the matchup.
When Josh Norman came to the Washington Redskins in the offseason, the first thing that many talked about was his impending matchup with Odell Beckham Jr. The duo had squared off in a Week 16 clash back in 2015 that led the to the eventual suspension of Beckham for the final game of the New York Giants season. Beckham was out of control in that contest, and Norman also played an extremely physical game. Many expected their next meeting to have a similar sort of explosive end.
However, in the Week 3 contest between the Redskins and the Giants, there was very little noise from the two. They simply focused on playing football, and neither did anything out of the ordinary. In fact, it was a great matchup to watch. It was clear that they did not like each other, but they definitely have respect for one another.
Coming into Week 17, the Redskins have a playoff berth on the line. With a win, they are basically in. For the Giants, they are locked into the No. 5 seed in the NFC. That said, they are still likely to play their starters for at least a portion of the game. Now, Beckham and Norman are going to get to face each other once more.
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So, what do we make of the matchup? In all honesty, not much.
In pre-practice interviews, Norman downplayed the idea of the duo facing off. According to ESPN’s John Keim, he said the following:
Now it’s a lot less. The storm has finally settled down, which is awesome. These guys make more of it than what it really is. Now you just see going on the field it’s regular guys playing a regular game you get to see on Sundays. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Don’t look too much into it. I go out there and play the opponent I face and we’ll see what happens after that.
Obviously, Norman is more focused on playing the actual game than his individual rivarly. Though the corner can be outspoken at times, he knows when to take the backseat. This game is important for the Redskins. The team needs to win. He knows he has to shut down Beckham, but he is only focusing on him as a player. Not what happened between them in the past.
To his credit, Beckham has said much of the same. According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, Beckham said the following of the impending matchup against Norman:
I don’t have any ill feelings towards him at all. We just like to compete. That’s the bottom line. This is football. We’re competitors and you want to win.
We are very much looking forward to seeing them compete on Sunday. The game will be crucial to the Redskins future, and this battle will certainly be one to watch.