During a time when reality shows may be the only television entertainment as popular as the NFL, viewers everywhere will be preparing for Odell Beckham Jr. versus Josh Norman. The last time these two met, football fans everywhere were given quite a performance.
Odell Beckham versus Josh Norman 2.0
Last year, Week 14 of the NFL regular season showed fans a whole new side of two of the league’s best players. One thing that stood out most was that it was possible to get inside Beckham’s head enough to completely throw him off his game. The number one receiver on the Giants‘ roster had issues early on. Beckham dropped a potential touchdown just two minutes into the game. Beckham had Norman beat, and was wide open, but Norman was already in Beckham’s head by this point.
The game went on and the focus never left these two. It seemed to be more about Beckham versus Norman than anything else. The less important headlines seemed to be the Panthers trying to make it to 14-0 and the Giants remaining in the running for the top NFC East spot. Besides numerous altercations and scuffles, Beckham racked up three unnecessary roughness penalties, while Norman racked up one as well.
The announcers continuously called for an ejection or action from the referees or respective teams. Players and coaches on both sides tried to calm the two players down, more noticeably on Carolina’s side, but things did not improve much. It was obvious Beckham was completely off his game; he was not running routes continuously and seemed to be more focused on Norman than anything else. Despite the distractions, Beckham did manage to rack up six receptions, 79 yards, and a touchdown that would help the Giants tie the Panthers in the fourth quarter.
The Giants lost by a field goal and due to Beckham’s huge loss in composure, he was suspended for one game, while both players were also fined. Beckham hopefully learned a hard lesson that he will take into the rest of his football career, and especially into this Sunday.
This time around, Beckham versus Norman will hopefully be very different. Norman will be in burgundy and gold, supported by a completely different roster and coaches. Norman made headlines recently when he was criticized for many for not guarding one of the best, if not the best wide receiver, Antonio Brown in a Week One showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is true that Norman is a high-profile player and has quite a mouth on him, but not guarding the best on the field has left many people wondering what to expect from him this season.
There is absolutely no doubt that Norman will be covering Beckham from the minute they step on the field. Beckham also has a new head coach, and the approach to this week’s match-up will likely be quite different. If nothing else, the game plan for Beckham will be to keep Norman from getting inside his head. Compared to last season, Beckham has a few less yards, and has yet to catch a touchdown, but with a stronger receiving core this should not be an issue.
Beckham typically plays well against Washington. He has brought in at least one touchdown every time the rivals have met since entering the league in 2104. Beckham has the ability to beat Norman physically in his routes, and has the ability to get open and catch the contested balls, is also strong when it comes to the short pass and yards after the catch on those grabs. If Beckham can keep the pressure of the match-up, as well as whatever words Norman has planned for him, Beckham will beat Norman and lead his team to a 3-0 start.