Although last week’s win over the New Orleans Saints didn’t feature the offensive shootout that everyone was expecting, the New York Giants still managed to do what all aspiring playoff teams must do this time of year by defeating a sub-par squad when the opportunity presented itself.
But another dog fight is always looming for residents of one of football’s most volatile divisions, and this week, the Giants will get their first crack at the reigning NFC East champs when they host the win-less Washington Redskins in a Sunday afternoon slug-fest that’s already being fought in the headlines.
Most notably, Washington’s off-season acquisition of former Carolina Panther Josh Norman has added a new dimension to the longstanding rivalry due to the ongoing beef between the outspoken cornerback and Giants’ top target Odell Beckham Jr. that began last December.
Of course, former Redskins’ linebacker and Giants’ newcomer Keenan Robinson also poured fuel on the fire that rages between these rivals when he criticized the culture in Washington’s locker room earlier this week.
”When I was there, three out of the four years it was the same thing. Once they get down, they start pointing fingers, and that’s true,” Robinson told the New York Post. ”That’s what happens.”
While undoubtedly entertaining, Robinson’s comments won’t influence the outcome of Sunday’s divisional showdown, the escalating war of words between longtime Giant-killer DeSean Jackson and cornerback Janoris Jenkins isn’t going to show up on the stat sheet, and neither team wants the simmering feud between Beckham Jr. and Norman to reach a boiling point.
In Week 1, New York narrowly escaped its NFC East clash against the Dallas Cowboys with a one-point win thanks primarily to promising performances from starting quarterback Eli Manning [19-28, 207 yds, three touchdowns, one interception] and its revamped defense. But if Cowboys’ wide receiver Terrence Williams hadn’t blown his team’s shot at a game-winning field goal in the final seconds of regulation by failing to stop the clock, things could’ve easily gone the other way—and the Giants know it.
Now, the Giants have a valuable opportunity to make a significant statement by knocking-off a division rival for the second time in three weeks And if they’re going to treat football fans throughout all five boroughs to another weekend of winning, Manning and New York’s aerial attack can’t afford a repeat of the fruitless effort that forced kicker Josh Brown and the defense to outscore New Orleans in Week 2.
Just two games into the current campaign, nobody knows if Manning and the talented trio of Beckham Jr., veteran Victor Cruz, and rookie Sterling Shepard will continue to look as good as they sometimes have thus far. As the team’s former offensive coordinator, first-year head coach Ben McAdoo already knows what he’ll get from Beckham Jr., but injuries have made Cruz a pass-catching question mark, and Shepard won’t truly be tested until he’s faced a few defenses who’ve prepared for him,
Selected in the second round of this past June’s NFL Draft, Shepard [11 rec, 160 yds, 1 td] will take the field for his third NFL contest essentially tied with Beckham Jr. [12 rec, 159 yds, 0 td] for the team lead in yards and receptions. More impressively, Shepard’s 11 receptions are the most that any Giants’ rookie has ever totaled through the first two games of an NFL career.
But despite his lack of NFL experience, Shepard sounded like a seasoned professional earlier this week while speaking to the New York Post about his role in the Giants’ potentially explosive passing game.
”Odell still draws a lot of double teams. You can see the safety cheating to his side a lot, and that’s where Victor and I come in and just try to do our part and catch some balls,” said Shepard. ”There’s still a lot of help on Odell’s side, so I feel like we’ve got to do a better job just getting some of those guys off of him and give him some breathing room.”
When these two rivals last met, a scoreless first half combined with Manning’s three interceptions gave Washington a split in the season series and a 20-14 victory that moved head coach Jay Gruden’s crew into a share of the division lead in late November. But both teams have made a lot of changes to their rosters since then, and Sunday’s NFC East showdown will mark the beginning of a new chapter in this timeless rivalry.
PETA Issues Statement to Odell Beckham Jr for Social Media Post
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. caught the ire of PETA over his post on Instagram showing him playing ball with a tiger and a chimpanzee.
Beckham was visiting with his friend Mike Holston, who specializes in animal education and conservation, who took the wide receiver to the Myrtle Beach Safari, which helps raise money for the Rare Species Fund, and rescues exotic animals from abuse.
View this post on Instagram
PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) released the following statement about OBJ’s social media post (h/t NJ.com):
“THESE SENSITIVE AND MUCH-ABUSED ANIMALS BELONG WITH THEIR FAMILIES IN NATURE, NOT PIMPED OUT AS PROPS BY SHAMELESS ROADSIDE ZOOS. WE’RE SURE THAT ODELL BECKHAM JR. HAD NO IDEA THAT THE SLEAZY SAFARI PARK WHERE THIS YOUNG CHIMPANZEE IS KEPT HAS A LENGTHY RECORD OF VIOLATING FEDERAL LAW AND USES GREAT APES AND BIG-CAT CUBS IN CHEAP PUBLICITY STUNTS LIKE THIS. THESE ENCOUNTERS ARE INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS, AND PETA URGES EVERYONE—INCLUDING BECKHAM, WHO CERTAINLY DOESN’T WANT ANOTHER INJURY—TO STEER CLEAR OF CRUEL FACILITIES THAT EXPLOIT ANIMALS.”
Giants Kyle Lauletta Arrested
New York Giants signal caller Kyle Lauletta was arrested on Tuesday morning or an incident that occurred while he driving to the team’s practice facility in East Rutherford, according to NJ.com’s Ryan Dunleavy.
According to the report, Lauletta, a fourth-round pick, nearly struck police with car when he failed to obey the directions of an officer.
“Sources in Weehawken with knowledge of the incident said the 23-year-old was trying to make a right turn from the wrong lane to get to Route 495 East, and was directed to keep going straight. Lauletta made the right turn and nearly ran over the officer directing traffic. He was stopped by another officer at the end of the on-ramp.”
“We are aware of the situation and are in contact with Kyle,” a Giants official said. “We are still gathering information.”
“We’re trying to do what we can to win this season and you always do what you can in the short run,” Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said Monday when asked about Lauletta’s playing chances, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano.
“It’s hard not to look at things in the long run, but what’s important is we try to beat the 49ers [in two weeks].”
Nike Flies Trademark For Odell Beckham Jr. Logo
The future of New York Giants’ superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. may be living under a cloud of uncertainty, but his future with Nike took a bold, definitive step on Monday.
Rewind to May 2017 when Beckham inked the largest shoe deal ever of any NFL player, a cool $25M over 5 years, and then fast forward to today and you can see the new OBJ logo that Nike has filed.
JUST IN: Nike has filed to trademark this new “OBJ” logo for Odell Beckham Jr. pic.twitter.com/I9MeYWT9B0
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) May 7, 2018
Beckham has already launched his first lifestyle shoe, the Special Field Air Force-1 Mid “OBJ”, so this opens the doors for even more from the newly launched brand.
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