Giants Receiver: Odell Beckham Jr. vs the Saints
by Adam Nardelli
The main matchup to keep an eye on as the Giants battle the Saints in the big easy has to do with none other than Odell Beckham. The New Orleans Saints native is expected to go up against one of the pleasant surprises this season, the play of previously unknown Delvin Breaux.
Breaux has shown tremendous ability to have success in man coverage, a difficult trait to find in many defensive backs nowadays. His 10 pass deflections leads the team, and his one interception came in the end zone against the Eagles after he dove in front of a Sam Bradford pass.
Brevaux is also from New Orleans and received a scholarship to play at LSU, just as Odell did, but Brevaux fractured three vertebrae in his neck in 2006 sending him on a long journey through developmental leagues on his way back to the NFL.
Regarding Sunday, the real question is how much of a chance Brevaux will get to showcase his man coverage skills against maybe the most talented receiver in the league in Odell. Brevaux had a respectable outing against Julio Jones, holding him to 93 receiving yards and no touchdowns. That’s not bad considering the types of games Julio has put together this season.
Odell Beckham has had two relatively quiet games the last two weeks, having 61 yards and a TD two weeks ago against the Eagles and just 4 catches for 35 yards last week against the Cowboys.
As I’ve always said Odell is a must start. The Giants know their best chance of having offense success is when Odell is at his best. However, Brevaux will be no easy task for Odell to handle and the Giants might need to come up with more creative ways to get the ball in the hands of their biggest play maker aside from trying to force a throw to him down the field, for example.
Run some variation of pick routes to help get Odell isolated. If the Saints end up playing underneath coverage on him as well as having a safety over the top of him to prevent big plays down the field, run a play where the underneath defender is cleared out allowing Odell to get the ball in the open field and let him make a move.
The Giants understand that with defenses game planning more and more for Odell, it’s going to be harder for him to replicate the success he had in 2014. That’s where the creativity comes into play regarding getting the ball in his hands.
It would be a mistake to not start Odell tomorrow, but at the same time Giants fans must respect the level of play Brevaux has been able to sustain this season. I don’t expect Odell to have one of his best games of this year tomorrow, but his sheer talent alone can still produce a solid 70 receiving yards on six or seven catches.