Q: What do the Houston Texans, St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans all have in common?
A: They could have had Odell Beckham Jr. on their team, and they all did something the Odell never does…they dropped the ball!
Now if you ask some of the GMs in the before-mentioned teams how they view their drafts from May 2014, I’m sure some will express confidence in their decisions. Though Jadeveon Clowney has been hurt part of the year and hasn’t been dominant, his upside was raw talent was too much to pass up. Khalil Mack has shown Raider fans that he will be their defensive center piece for years to come and the Falcons are extremely happy with their pick of Jake Matthews to sure up their O-Line and protect their franchise QB. Also, receivers like Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans has shown promise as well as being stars for a long time in the league. However, all of these players will be on the list of players taken before the best talent to come out of 2014, the Sam Bowie to the Michael Jordan of NFL WIde Receivers.
The New York Giants have had by their standards a down year. After today’s victory against the Minor League Washington Redskins, the Giants find themselves at 5-9, 5 games behind their two biggest rivals, Dallas and Philadelphia. As the Cowboys and Eagles fight it out for the NFC East crown, the Giants are left sitting at home thinking pondering their future. Will Tom Coughlin, two-time winning Superbowl Coach be back to lead the team next year as missing the playoffs for the 3rd consecutive year? Will Jerry Reese, the GM who brought in the players which have lead the Giants to 2 titles in 4 years in the not so distant past, be charged with turning the franchise around? What does the situation at QB look like, as Eli Manning looks far removed from wearing the title, Two-Time Super Bowl MVP? However, as bleak as the current situation might be, a huge building block is in place and can give Big Blue Faithful a reason to assume that brighter days are on the horizon.
Everyone has seen the unbelievable catch Beckham made on Sunday night against the Cowboys, when he leaped 8 feet in the air, grabbed a pass one-handed as if he had stick-em on his hand, ignored the fact that he had a defender pulling him down, and landed his body just in-bounds. It was called the “BEST CATCH EVER” by many experts who have been around the game for decades. We’re also all seen the video of Odell making one handed catches, diving, leaping and damn-near doing back-flips in pre-game warm-ups and practices. He can throw the ball 60 yards on the line and also spin the all to himself and kick a 40 yard field goal. He’s an athletic freak and by far the best receiver the Giants have possibly ever had on their team, no offense to Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress.
The real story is told by his numbers on the year. He missed the first 5 games of the year with a hamstring issue, but his rookie numbers would give you no indication that he hasn’t played every down of the season. 972 yards on 71 catches, 9 TDs and his 97.2 yards per game as second behind Antonio Brown and Demayrius Thomas, two veteran receivers who are having career years. Beckham’s 9 TDs puts him only 3 behind the NFL leader, but considering he missed 5 games, his average of 1 TD per game is by far the best in the league. In less games, he has more yards than Calvin Johnson, Alshon Jeffery, Desean Jackson and many other NFL veteran pro-bowlers. Did we mention that we’re talking about a ROOKIE with LESS THAN 10 GAMES!
As a Jets fan, I am jealous but as a New Yorker, I’m excited to be able to watch a young legend make his name on the greatest stage in the world, especially in a year in which Derek Jeter gave up the New York City sports throne. The sky is the limit, as the combination of speed, size, hands and pure athleticism is unmistakably special. Though there are many questions to answer in Giants nation in the next few months, their is no need to worry about who the main target will be for the next decade, as Odell Beckham Jr. is ready to take the NFL by storm.
Debate of the Day: Is Peyton Manning’s decision to play for the Denver Broncos the correct decision?
NyBobby’s Take: No, Peyton Manning is absolutely making a mistake. He should not sign with Denver, he should not sign with Miami, in fact he should not be signing a contract to play with anyone. We have seen this story before and it never ends well for the legendary Quarterback who has taken his talents to another city after playing an entire career in one. Look at Favre, Montana and Unitas. Peyton Manning was drafted a Colt, played a great 13 years with their organization and should have retired in Colt blue and white. He is to the Colts what John Elway is to Peyton’s new team: The all-time franchise Quarterback. Elway knew when to hang it up, Peyton needs to follow suit.
Peyton Manning should really be joining either ESPN, CBS, NBC or another analyst position. He could also pursue a career in coaching, in which I’m sure the Colts would have been glad to oblige. Everyone has seen Peyton in countless TV commercials and SNL skits. He is extremely personable, has a great sense of humor and seems to be one of those people who will succeed in any path of life. That is if he chooses to walk away while he possesses the capacity to think clearly.
I know he has the desire to be on the field as a player, but Manning has to consider the risk. Is one or two more years really enough to risk a potential life altering injury? His neck fusion surgery still has complications and he is at an advanced age in which injuries don’t heal as quickly. He is not a mobile QB, never was, and at 38 he will be less so. As a QB, Manning will be sitting in the pocket, and will undeniably take a ton of hits. There is no way to know that he will be his former self and if he takes another shot to the head or neck, there is no guarantee that he can enjoy the same quality of life as he could now if he just walks away.
Peyton has accomplished everything in the NFL imaginable. 13 seasons all with one franchise. Third in passing yards in NFL history, a Super Bowl Ring, Super Bowl MVP and multiple NFL regular season MVPs. Unless he is feeling pressure to finish with more Super Bowl’s then his little brother, I can’t see the force that would make him undergo this risk. We all know Peyton Manning is headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame already. As a fan, I’d prefer to see him walk to the podium to deliver his speech under his own power.
Matthewtodderich’s Take: Peyton Manning is 100% making the correct decision. Let’s start with easy reasons. First, the Denver Broncos are coming off a successful season where they not only won the AFC West, but they also upset the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the playoffs. The final play of the Broncos Steelers game was an 80 yard overtime touchdown pass to Peyton’s future favorite target Demaryious Thomas. Secondly, the Broncos also had the best rushing defense in the league last year with a very young team that will only get better.
Some people might question whether Peyton coming back to football at all is the right decision. To those people, all I have to say is “4 MVP’s.” Yes he suffered an injury that can be career ending but he also went through an entire season of rehab and passed every physical examination to this point. Since being drafted #1 out of Tennessee by the Colts he has only proved to be nothing but flawless.
The “Free Agency Era” started back in 1993 and to this day no one has been more sought after then Peyton himself. I believe that the talent Peyton posses and the team he has chosen to go to with fit perfectly together. They are my early preseason pick to not only win the AFC West again but to definitely make some noise deeper into the playoffs. If John Elway can make Tim Tebow look like a playoff caliber quarterback then God only knows what he can do for arguably the greatest quarterback ever.