Before Odell Beckham had a head full of ramen noodles and, ironically enough, endorsed a shampoo that treated bad dandruff, Odell Beckham Jr. ran routes and returned kicks for the LSU Tigers. And boy did he ball. The kid is so electric with the ball in his hands that opposing defensive coordinators make sure that he receives the most attention of anyone on the field – as to ensure that he cannot impose his will upon the game. However, there still exists a scenario that no matter what opposing coaches do, he will likely have a shot at making an impact – returning punts and kickoffs. To me, this is a no brainer – it’s time to let OBJ off his leash.
It’s no secret the New York Football Giants are struggling to put points on the board. They have yet to score more than 28 points in a contest this year and a lot of that is due to the offense. However, you just simply cannot underestimate what an explosive special teams can do for you. Let’s take a deeper look at the problems for the Giants statistically:
- The Giants have had a four-year playoff drought since their last championship in 2011
- During that drought, the Giants have managed to score just 3 special teams touchdowns (2 punt returns and 1 kickoff return)
- During that same period, the Giants have had just one season in which they averaged more than 7.7 yards/return – the only exception is 10.2 yards/return in 2015 (2014 – 7.7 yards/return, 2013 – 7.2 yards/return, 2012 – 7.2 yards/return)
- The past four Super Bowl Champions have each scored at least one special teams touchdown in the regular season with the exception of the 2013 Seahawks (they did however have one punt return for a touchdown in the playoffs)
- 2015 (DEN): 1 regular season special teams TD – 9.8 yards/return
- 2014 (NE): 1 regular season special teams TD – 10.5 yards/return
- 2013 (SEA): 0 regular season special teams TD – 11.1 yards/return
- 2012 (BAL): 3 regular seasons special teams TDs – 9.4 yards/return
The stats are evident: The Giants cannot simply rely on an inconsistent offense to get them to the playoffs. Special Teams is too often swept under the rug – but if you have one that can consistently contribute to scoring points, you are likely to have a shot at a playoff run.
Statistics aside, the NFL ratings are down this year. The 2016 season has been so boring I have found myself more entertained by watching my roommate JT failing miserably at an attempt to chef up a Sunday gumbo than watch football (unless of course the G-Men are on). Whether he’s dancing on the field, showing off his new cleats (shoutout Kickasso), or doing what he’s paid to do – catching footballs – Odell Beckham Jr. is pure fun to watch. He’s a talent unlike we’ve ever seen before. Even if he does not attempt a return at the kicks the entertainment he provides is unmatched – check out this incredible one-handed catch on a kickoff. If you’ve ever tried to catch anything in your life you understand how difficult it is to pick a football out of the air that was kicked from 60 yards away. The dude is sick.
The statistics are there – The Giants clearly need a boost scoring points. If the offense is struggling (which it clearly is), why not give your best player the opportunity to take over? Not to mention he already ran a punt back for a TD against CLE that got called back on a hold. All else aside, at least give us, the loyal fans of the NFL (and in my case the true blue NYG fans) an opportunity to bear witness to greatness. Isn’t that why we watch? MESSAGE TO BEN MCADOO: give the fans what we want and give your best player an opportunity to put you in a position to win – or else your January will look like every other one the Giants have had in the past four years…golf and beer.