Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
Before Beckham was carted off the field with a potential season-ending ankle injury, the Chargers couldn’t stop him. He finished the game with five receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown that gave the Giants the lead. The celebration was classic Beckham: pretending to give the ball CPR (without mouth-to-mouth) in the end zone. It appeared the Giants were going post their first W. When he went down, so did the Giants. It’s an absolute shame Beckham’s day ended the way it did, especially after his performance.
Running back Orleans Darkwa
Darkwa had the best day any Giants running back has had this season. He ran for 69 yards on eight carries and scored the first rushing touchdown this season by a Giants back. Darkwa averaged 8.6 yards per carry and he rushed for more yards Sunday than Paul Perkins had all season. His Sunday performance left Giants fans with two questions: Why wasn’t he installed in the offense earlier in the season when it could have made a difference and why didn’t the Giants use him more against the Chargers?
Defensive tackle Damon Harrison
The Man Called Snacks feasted on the Chargers offense all game. He finished five tackles, including one for a loss. Harrison was constantly in Philip Rivers’ face with multiple quarterback pressures and a quarterback hit. Harrison was the defensive line’s best player Sunday. This is especially noteworthy because Olivier Vernon didn’t play with an injury and Jason Pierre-Paul underachieved.
Tight end Evan Engram
Engram led all rookie tight ends in receptions (19) and yards (200) entering Week 5. He was invisible against the Chargers with no receptions on four targets. Engram also couldn’t get it done from the fourth wide receiver spot on the Giants’ final offensive drive. This was only Engram’s fifth professional game and sometimes rookies will have games such as the one he had yesterday. Still, he needed to make his presence felt, especially in a game in which the Giants lost four wide receivers.
Quarterback Eli Manning
Manning disintegrated as soon as Beckham left the game, virtually disintegrating the Giants’ chances at victory from the field with an ill-timed fumble and an interception. Statistically, his day wasn’t bad: 21-of-36 for 225 yards, two touchdowns, and interception. Manning’s biggest problem is he makes mistakes in the most critical moments. He’s been in this league long enough to know what not to do: which is give the ball back to the other side with time winding down. Critics have been saying it’s time for the Giants to move on from Manning and his performance after Beckham went down did little to quiet the voices. He gets a caveat because no quarterback can be expected to win after losing four wide receivers (including three starters) to injury in the same game. At the same time, Manning can’t do anything to lose the game for his team.
Head coach Ben McAdoo
McAdoo’s decision making is reaching idiotic proportions. First, he mysteriously refuses to hand the rock off to Orleans Darkwa after the Chargers showed an inability to slow him down or contain him. Then, there’s the decision to have Odell Beckham Jr. returning kicks after Dwayne Harris went down. Beckham is the Giants’ most important player: why in the hell is he back there returning kicks? Two plays later, Beckham gets injured. An injury can happen at any time or any play. At the same time, a coach should not put his most potent offensive weapon in harm’s way…which is exactly what McAdoo did when he had Beckham returning kicks.
Sunday’s game was a penalty filled slug fest: the Giants had 10 for 67 yards while the Chargers had 11 for 87 yards. The Giants have dealt with this all season long. It’s one thing to be beaten soundly and thoroughly by an opponent. It’s another thing when a team defeats themselves with penalties that allow an offense to get a fresh set of downs or a defense to get off the field.
Some of the reaction to Odell Beckham Jr.’s injury on social media
Odell Beckham Jr. is a polarizing figure. He has done himself no favors with some of his behavior throughout his career. Some of the reaction on social media to his injury, particularly him crying on the field in obvious pain, was downright wrong. Some people were actually happy to see him hurt and angry that he was in tears…as if a fractured fibula doesn’t physically hurt. As a society, we like to act civilized whenever natural disasters and events like what happened in Las Vegas last week take place. We say all the right things and we’re under the belief that we’re advancing forward as human beings. Then, I read some of the disgusting things said about Beckham and how people were actually happy for another human being’s pain. That makes no sense to me…and it never will.