For many New York Giants fans, it seems like insult was added to injury when star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was suspended for 1 game in the wake of his explosive back and forths with Carolina Panthers’ Josh Norman in Week 15.
Now, with a win-or-die game against Minnesota Vikings, the Giants must keep alive their hopes of continuing their progress towards Super Bowl 50 without the man who’s continual offensive triumphs has put them, and him, on the radar of every team in the NFC.
The million dollar question right now is: Can they do it without him? It seems like any bit of news to stem from the Giants base revolves around their iconic no’ 13. With 13 of the teams 32 touchdowns coming at his hands, it is a no brainer that the Giants will miss him.
This does not mean the Giants can be written off already. Rashad Jennings showed his capabilites with a 38 yard touchdown in the 4th quarter, and made 15 rushes previously, at an average of 6.7 yards per rush. But with 2 touchdowns this season, the running back would find now an ideal time to step in and carry where Beckham can’t. Although QB Eli Manning has always found his focal point of yardage to be the marauding Beckham, Jennings offers an alternative
The matter of replacing him seems to drop to Dwayne Harris, who has 4 touchdowns from 5 games started this year, averaging just over 27 yards per receive. Though he was largely out of it against the Panthers, averaging just 4.5 yards for his 2 receives, he may be allowed to step out of Beckham’s shadow and stake his claim as a contestant to both Beckham and other regular receiver Rueben Randle.
Alternatively, they make look to rookie tight end Will Tye a focal point of their offence. Though game time has been few and far between for the 24 year old from Stony Brook University, two touchdowns and ten receptions for 73 yards in his previous two games shows steady progress for a man only drafted to the first team roster in October. As time runs out for the Giants, maybe it’s time to play their stocky, yet speedy, wild card.
However the Giants try to work around the absence of Beckham, the next match may define whether Beckham is merely the sole architect of their offence this season.