Moeller: Odell Beckham, Jr. Incident Latest In Increasing Decline

The season that was slowly is turning into the season that wasn’t.

Like I always say, you can’t make it up.

During the summer, the Giants talked the talk of a team that would begin its season with a gallant effort against Dallas and then proceed to methodically move through the season to an NFC East title, or at least a playoff berth. Confidence was brimming and Big Blue was ready to take the next steps after last year’s early playoff exit.

Hey, they won 11 games with a questionable offensive line and almost non-existent running game. The defense would remind people of the 1986 Bears or the 2000 Ravens.

Then Odell Beckham Jr. goes down in a preseason game, and the low-producing offense that has produced more than 20 points in a game since last November comes to a near grinding halt.

They looked out of sync in the opener against Dallas. Sterling Shepard has a strong game in his place, but Brandon Marshall also can’t adjust.

Beckham is back against Detroit, but the Lions have their way with the Giants’ offensive line, and New York’s defense can’t slow a mediocre Detroit running game.

Down 14-0 to Philadelphia, things looked grim. Beckham rallies to save the day with a pair of his highlight-reel touchdown catches, but one would evidentially ignite the ire of co-owner John Mara. Every fan knows what I’m talking about, so I won’t go into detail.

When the Giants’ tied the game late, most of us had the feeling that something would go wrong. It the tune of an improbable 61-yard field goal that could severely deflate the G-Men with a 0-3 record and send their playoff possibilities plummeting.

Mara voiced his displeasure about Beckham’s incident Tuesday in a statement that read, “I do not want to get into a discussion about this, but I will say that I am very unhappy with Odell’s behavior on Sunday and we intend to deal with it internally.”

Beckham, in his infinite wisdom, replied, “I’m a dog, so I acted like a dog. I don’t know if the rulebook said you can’t hike your leg. He said I peed on somebody, so I was trying to find the imaginary ghost that I peed on. But I didn’t see him.”

You can’t make it up.

It will be interesting to see how the Beckham incident will be handled and the fall out from it. There are still the issues of the offensive line – spotlight on Ereck Flowers — and a running game that continues to produce less than 50 yards a game. Add to it a forecasted dominant defense that suddenly looks average.

Still, there is hope.. there always is. The Giants began the 2013 season with an 0-6 mark and rallied for a 7-9 season. The expectations then, however, weren’t as high.

This group goes to Tampa Sunday to take on Jameis Winston, who threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns, but was intercepted three times and sacked twice in a 34-17 loss to Minnesota last Sunday. The Bucs only managed 26 yards rushing.

Sounds like a good situation to help raise the bar for the Giants’ defense. Defensively, Tampa allowed 494 yards to Minnesota, 369 through the air and a respectable 125 in the ground.

Take note, Eli and company. This looks also looks a good time to get the first win. Marshall came out of his cocoon and had a good game against Philadelphia.

A loss brings the G-Men back home to face the current winless Los Angeles Chargers, who host Philadelphia Sunday.

But the Giants need a convincing win in Tampa Sunday to begin to end speculation about a season that few people so far could have made up.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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