NFL

NFL AM: Odell Beckham Jr Is On A Torrid Pace

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Odell Beckham Jr setting a ridiculous pace through 25 career games:

Last season we wrote that Odell Beckham Jr was off to the kind of start that suggested he might already be on his way to becoming the greatest receiver in New York Giants history.

Perhaps we sold him short.

A look at the Giants second-year receiver’s statistics suggest he isn’t only on his way to being the best receiver in team history, but that maybe he’s on his way to being the best receiver in NFL history. Yes, that’s a really bold statement to make about a guy who hasn’t finished his second year in the league, but it’s a question the Giants’ bold receiver is forcing people to ask.

After the Giants 31-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins Monday night, the NFL posted a picture comparing Beckham Jr to a handful of NFL greats past and present, and the numbers are absolutely astounding.

Through his first 25 NFL games, Beckham Jr has 176 receptions, which is 64 more than the 112 Julio Jones was able to pull in over the same span. Randy Moss had 110 catches in his first 25 games, while Jerry Rice had 94, Calvin Johnson had 93, and Antonio Brown had 85.

For the Giants second-year receiver to have at least 64 more receptions than those other greats is pretty shocking, but when you look at the yardage compiled by the receivers during the same span, Beckham’s dominance really starts to take shape.

During his first 25 starts, Beckham has 2,625 receiving yards, or 678 more than Moss who had 1,957 yards to start his career. Jones came in with 1,890 yards over his first 25, while Rice had 1,801, Johnson had 1,595, and Brown had 1,275.

Couple those numbers with the fact that Beckham Jr also leads the group in touchdown receptions over the first 25 games of their careers with 24, and it’s undeniable that Beckham’s first 25 games are absolutely historic. Moss had just one fewer touchdown to start his career with 23, while Jones had 14, Rice had 12, Johnson had 11, and Antonio Brown had just two touchdown catches over his first 25.

When you compile all of the numbers, it’s clear the Giants young, boisterous receiver is off to a better start than any receiver that’s ever played the game. Couple the stats with the fact that Beckham Jr might have the best hands we’ve ever seen, and it’s becoming apparent that he has the talent to be the best we’ve ever seen.

It’s way too early to make the leap that Beckham is the greatest receiver of all time, because consistency and longevity are key components to all-time greatness, but it’s becoming increasingly evident that the Giants second-year stud is one of the greatest talents we’ve seen at the position. If he keeps up the pace he’s set to start his career, he’s on his way to earning the title of greatest receiver of all time, and the crazy part is, to this point, it’s not even close.

Patriots lose LeGarrette Blount and Dominque Easley for the season:

From Rob Gronkowski, to Julian Edelman to Nate Solder, the New England Patriots have seen some of their best players go down to injuries this season, and this week has been no different, as the team has placed 2014 first-round pick Dominique Easley, and running back LeGarrette Blount on season-ending injured reserve.

Blount is yet another loss to a backfield that has already saw Dion Lewis go down for the season, and Easley represents a bigger hit to the defense than some may realize.

Easley may not have yet worked himself into the starting line-up, but played regularly, and was a big part of the Pats’ defensive line rotation. Easley had recorded a sack before going down with a thigh injury during Sunday’s victory over the Houston Texans.

The Patriots’ second-year defensive tackle will end the season on injured reserve for the second straight season.

Easley wasn’t the only loss for the Patriots defense Sunday as the team also lost safety Devin McCourty with an ankle injury. The veteran safety is expected to return for the playoffs. McCourty spoke at a Patriots charity even Tuesday night and joked that he’s putting his fiancée to work to help him get back on the field.

“We’re starting now, working hard just in rehab and treatment,” McCourty said. “I’m fortunate, my fiancée is a doctor, so I’m getting round-the-clock treatment, putting her to work.”

Blount’s loss will be felt by the Patriots offense, because the big, bruising back is a perfect weapon when the winter months start making the weather nasty. The Patriots signed former Denver Broncos running back Monte Ball to take Blount’s spot in the offense, but it’s unclear how much we’ll see of Ball until he can get caught up on the playbook.

Brock Osweiler to start Sunday, Peyton Manning to return to practice:

Tuesday Gary Kubiak announced that Brock Osweiler will be the Denver Broncos starting quarterback when the team takes the field in Pittsburgh this Sunday. However, the fact that the announcement wasn’t made until Tuesday is notable, because Kubiak has named Osweiler that week’s starter each of the past four Mondays.

The hesitation to announce a starter for Sunday’s game is a clear indication that previous reports that Kubiak had decided to stick with Osweiler for the remainder of the season were likely erroneous.  It seems increasingly likely that the Broncos head coach will instead play the situation by ear and make decisions based upon how Osweiler looks on Sunday, and how Manning looks in practice.

While Kubiak seems open to Manning earning his job back, he said Monday that the first step is just getting the veteran quarterback back out there.

“That’s the next step, that he’s coming back to practice, and if you’re coming back to practice, then you’re working toward getting back on the field playing, Kubiak said. “Let me see where we’re at. I know how we ended last week, and I know what I’ve been doing since 5 o’clock this morning. I haven’t talked to anybody; I’ve been doing a lot of evaluation and those type of things. We’ll get started on all those other type of things this afternoon.”

Osweiler will certainly have his hands full Sunday when they take on a surging Steelers team, and just as it wasn’t against the Oakland Raiders this Sunday, 12 points just won’t be enough against Ben Roethlisberger and company. The Broncos young quarterback certainly couldn’t have blocked Khalil Mack on his own Sunday, but if he and the Denver offense can’t get things clicking against the Steelers Sunday, don’t be surprised if the old vet is back under center before long.


About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.