Game recap: Giants 37 — Rams 27

Result: Odell Beckham Jr. put on another show — much to the Rams’ displeasure — as the Giants won in St. Louis to improve to 6-9 with their third victory in a row.

Need to know: Beckham had eight catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns and targeted by angry Rams defenders throughout another record-setting afternoon. Late in the first half, Beckham was at the center of a brawl on the Giants sideline following a catch that resulted in three ejections.

The chippiness continued into the second half. One play after Rams’ safety T.J. McDonald launched himself at Beckham — and hurt teammate E.J. Gaines in the process — Beckham went 80 yards for a TD. Later in the half, referees picked up a flag thrown when Rodney McLeod appeared to lead with his helmet while knocking Beckham out of bounds. After the game, many Giants players described the Rams’ tactics as “dirty”.

Beckham became the first NFL rookie with 130-plus receiving yards and a touchdown catch in three consecutive games. He has 79 catches, 11 for TDs — both Giants rookie records. He has eight consecutive games with 90 or more yards; Michael Irvin set the NFL record of nine in 1995.

After the game, Tom Coughlin said Beckham would “tone down” his touchdown celebrations. The receiver was flagged for one in the first half that came before the brawl. Coughlin cut the press conference short after objecting to questions about Beckham.

Eli Manning was 25-for-32 passing for a season-high 391 yards. He threw three TD passes, giving him 30 for the season. The Giants’ 37 points were a season-high against the Rams, who hadn’t allowed a TD the previous three games.

Receiver Rueben Randle (six catches, 132 yards, TD) and running back Andre Williams (26 carries, 110 yards) also had big days. Josh Brown kicked three field goals, including a 52-yarder.

Giants defensive end Kerry Wynn had a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery in his third game for the Giants.

Offensive tackle Will Beatty had three holding penalties and was incorrectly credited for a fourth in the fourth quarter.

Giants defensive back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie returned to the game after leaving with a neck burner.

Links: AP recap | Box score

What’s Next: The Giants close the season next Sunday at 1 p.m. at home against the Eagles, who were eliminated from playoff contention Sunday.

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

I’ll admit, I didn’t see this offensive explosion coming, that is for sure. It appears the Giants’ offense is better than we think. OBJ is like Gretzky out there. He’s beating you and can’t do anything about it. When you try to line him up for a big hit, he steps aside and makes you look foolish.

Beckham flustered the Rams to the point where they got chippy fast. They used all their resources trying to stop him, they forgot about about Rueben Randle, who finally was able to take advantage of single coverage, running crisp routes and – most importantly – held onto the football and made a ton of yards after the catch.

The running game was scheduled to go nowhere against this stingy Rams defense, but rookie RB Andre Williams put on an impressive physical performance, pounding his way to big yardage.

What I liked about this game was the fire the Giants possessed. They have nothing to play for but pride. They did not let the Rams push them around, but did get caught up in the low tactics employed by Gregg Williams’ defense.

They were clearly going after OBJ for showing them up. They did not succeed. After his first TD, Tom Coughlin told him to cool it. He did, and the emotions simmered down after that.

The defense was as physical as they’ve been all year. JPP. Jameel McClain and rookie Kerry Wynn were all outstanding again.

At 6-9, no one should be upbeat about this season, but I am. They are closing on a positive note and there is a lot to look forward to in 2015.


Two Giants, one Ram ejected after 1st-half brawl

Two Giants and one Rams player were ejected late in the first half of Sunday’s game at St. Louis after a wild sideline brawl in which Odell Beckham Jr. played a major role.

After Beckham caught a 6-yard pass along the Giants sideline, he was hit out of bounds by linebacker Alec Ogletree, who slammed Beckham to the ground. Beckham threw the ball at Ogletree, sparking the melee. Punter Steve Weatherford failed to restrain Beckham from going after Ogletree. Meanwhile, Giants defensive players joined the fight.

Giants receiver Preston Parker threw a punch while defensive end Damontre Moore jumped on Rams defensive end William Hayes. All three were thrown out of the game.

Earlier, Beckham was flagged for taunting after catching a touchdown pass. In the second quarter, Rams cornerback T.J. Michael was penalized for hitting Beckham out of bounds.

The penalties after the brawl cost the Giants 27 yards, moving them for their 41 to the 14.
Beckham set a Giants rookie record in the half, when he had four catches to give him 75 for the season. That broke Jeremy Shockey’s 2002 record of 73.

NFL Week 16 GameDay: Giants at St. Louis

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants (5-9), winners of two straight, travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams (6-8) and their smothering defense.

Kickoff: 4:05pm Eastern
Site: Edward Jones Dome
Surface: AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D
TV: FOX Thom Brennaman, David Diehl, Laura Okmin (Field Reporter)
Radio: WFAN 660AM and 101.9FM Bob Papa, Carl Banks and Howard Cross; SIRIUS: 133 (NYG), 93 (StL) XM: 225 (StL)
Referee: Pete Morelli
The Line: Rams by 6 1/2; OU 43 1/2
Give/Take: Giants -5; Rams +2

Series: Rams lead, 25-14. Giants have won last 5.

Last Game: 9/19/11: Rams 16 at Giants 28. New York RB Ahmad Bradshaw records 104 scrimmage yards (59 rushing, 45 receiving). Giants RB Brandon Jacobs rushes for 50 yards & TD.
Last Game at Site: 9/14/08: Giants 41, Rams 13. New York QB Eli Manning passes for 260 yards & 3 TDs. Giants WR Plaxico Burress has 5 receptions for 81 yards & TD. Defense records 6 sacks. To read more of this story, click here

McAdoo still hoping to put it all together

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants’ hiring of Ben McAdoo to be their new OC last offseason was met with mixed results. Many fans and pundits are still on the fence as to whether McAdoo is the right guy to carry the Giants’ offense into the future.

Head coach Tom Coughlin is not one of those guys

“He has done good job. He’s a solid football coach and knows exactly what he is doing,” Coughlin told reporters Friday. “He does a good job helping to coach the quarterbacks and the offense, his work ethic is very good.”

Many questioned his playcalling early on in the season, which reeled in QB Eli Manning by shortening the receiver route tree, a strategy that has recently changed with the emergence of WR Odell Beckham, Jr. Some suggested to Coughlin that McAdoo has changed, or rather found, his playcalling rhythm.

“He has been, I think, pretty consistent with that,” said Coughlin. “I think the fact that when you get in games sometimes and you are not successful with the balance that you are looking for, it is not easy. When you are not running as well as you would like to do that, to provide the kind of the balance. That falls just as much on my shoulders as anybody else.”

McAdoo said this week that the offensive squad was making progress. He has not had full complement of personnel to work with, but he is not using injuries or inexperience as an excuse for any shortcomings. The group he sends out every Sunday is expected to get the job done.

“We are always chasing consistency,” said McAdoo. “The more time you spend together, the more time you can grow and see consistent improvement. We are looking for that over the final two games, especially this week. It is about consistency. Each play, each quarter, each half and each game, we are looking to put it all together.”

McAdoo himself still seems to be a bit of a mystery. When he arrived here from Green Bay last spring, Giants fans knew very little about him. They are still trying to put their finger on where his strengths and weaknesses lie. He was asked this week how he feels he has evolved as a first year coordinator and playcaller.

“That is a good question. I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about that,” McAdoo said. “You learn what you learn along the way. You apply. You go back to conversations that you may have had along the way and in tough times, you think about players, not plays. Maybe that is something that you can apply going forward, especially in a long season. Other than that, that is the first thing that comes to mind.”

The arrival of Beckham, who missed all of the offseason, preseason and first quadrant of the season, has been a godsend for McAdoo. He has had to make do without WR Victor Cruz, who was out early on, and with only sporadic appearances from RB Rashad Jennings. In addition, WR Rueben Randle has been slow to step up his game who has been outdone by Ffree agent pickup Preston Parker in the past month. It has been difficult for McAdoo to run his offense successfully while mixing and matching personnel on a weekly basis.

“We believe in the next man up mentality,” McAdoo said. “We have a lot of guys who have stepped up and played some good football for us when Victor went down. Preston Parker is a guy who comes in and fights hard and he works hard and it is important to him. We respect that. There are a bunch of different guys who have stepped up and filled Victor’s shoes and done a nice job for us.”

Beckham has solved a lot of the Giants’ problems on offense this season. He is as welcome as a three-run homer is in baseball. He’s made big plays, and lots of them. The focus now is to find out exactly how much Beckham can do.

“We need to continue to work with him in expanding his role and seeing what he can handle and really going through an offseason and seeing what he does well,” said MacAdoo. “Where we are right now is we are putting game plans in and we have a good feel for what his strengths are and detailing his strengths and making sure we bring his weaknesses up and make those better. The offseason is the time where we will be able to help mold his game and see where we can go with him and his position.”

As McAdoo tries to get the ball into Beckham’s hands as much as possible, he is realizing the rookie’s strengths as well as his weaknesses – though McAdoo wasn’t quick to point those out.

“That wouldn’t be very smart for me to answer, now would it?” the OC said.

Perhaps Beckham doesn’t have any. That would be a huge plus for McAdoo, the coach we are still trying to pin down.

Beckham named Pepsi Rookie of the Week

Odell Beckham Jr. won Week 15’s Pepsi Rookie of the Week.

He had 12 grabs, 143 yards and three touchdowns in a win over the Redskins.

“Though he missed four games to start the season, he’s on the short list of nominees for Offensive Rookie of the Year,” said (NFL, Dec. 19).

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Shocked? Didn’t think so. Can’t remember the last time a rookie – not just a Giant rookie – made such an impact on a team.

OBJ is single-handedly changing the narrative to this once lost season.

He’s given the fan base something to cheer about down the stretch here and has Giant fans talking positively about the future again.

Injury Report: McClain probable

LB Jameel McClain is listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the Rams.

McClain fully participated in practice on Friday.

RB Rashad Jennings is out with an ankle injury.