Whether or not it had any actual effect on their games, the New York Giants receivers’ trip to Miami early in the week before their Wild Card game against the Green Bay Packers became a topic of conversation.
During a 38-13 loss to the Packers on Sunday, Odell Beckham Jr. and several other Giants receivers had a case of the drops, spilling easy catches that could have turned into huge plays.
As expected, some, like Fox analysts Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, brought up the trip during the miserable outing. While they acknowledged that there may not be an actual link, they said being seen partying in Miami the week of a playoff game creates a negative perception.
Beckham was not having it, however. After the game, he defended himself and his teammates, saying there was no connection (via SB Nation’s Harry Lyles Jr.).
“[Criticism] started before the game. It happened early, and it did a great job of putting it in people’s minds that, ‘OK now if the Giants lose, it’s because you went to Miami.'”
He continued, “There was nothing that could connect seven days ago to today and how we came out and played and executed. There’s just nothing in the world, it’s not realistic. I went throughout the entire week of practice fully locked in, you can ask anybody. I didn’t expect the game to go this way today.”
Beckham finished the game with just four catches for 28 yards, despite being targeted 11 times. He had a pair of brutal drops in the opening quarter, one of which would have given the Giants a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead.
Of course, no one on the Giants actually blamed or seemed to care about the receivers’ jaunt to Miami last week. Ben McAdoo said it was the players’ day off and they can do what they like, and Eli Manning joked that he was only upset about the clothing his receivers were wearing in one picture.
As Beckham said, a trip seven days earlier couldn’t have possibly impacted their performance. Nonetheless, Beckham and company have to deal with the fallout after a disappointing performance in a winnable game.
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