GREEN BAY, Wis. — Odell Beckham Jr. got his first touchdown catch of the season on a night when the New York Giants’ star receiver kept his cool.
All that wasn’t enough to lift the Giants on Sunday.
Beckham finished with five catches on 12 targets for 56 yards in a 23-16 loss to Green Bay. The Packers’ injury-saddled secondary limited Beckham until late in the game, when a hurry-up drive ended with Beckham’s 8-yard touchdown catch with 2:54 left.
The score stood on replay review after the receiver jumped high in the air for Eli Manning’s pass and was ruled inbounds after straddling the back line of the end zone.
Beckham raised his both arms in the air in celebration after watching the replay on the Lambeau Field video board. He finished with five catches for 56 yards.
He was having fun again, though less so at the end of the night.
“You play for bigger things than just scoring touchdowns. You play to win. I hate losing games more than I even enjoy a win,” he said.
Perhaps more importantly for the Giants, Beckham didn’t throw an attention-grabbing tantrum like the meltdowns he had the previous two weeks against Minnesota and Washington.
In a 24-10 loss last week at Minnesota, Beckham was smothered by cornerback Xavier Rhodes and had 23 yards on three catches.
A few weeks ago against the Redskins, an angry Beckham slammed his helmet against a kicking net in an outburst that went viral.
On Sunday night, he made up with the net, giving the netting a mock kiss and hug.
“Yeah, we hugged it out. Last time I hit him, he hit me back,” Beckham said. “I told him it was a good hit, and I said from now on we can be friends. It is what it is, man. You’ve got to have fun, you’ve got to have fun.”
Against the Packers, Beckham faced a defense minus starting cornerbacks Sam Shields (concussion) and Damarious Randall (groin). Second-year cornerback Quinten Rollins drew the assignment initially of defending Beckham, and Manning looked his way early and often.
“I thought versus some tough coverages where they were trying to take away some of the routes he ran … and still beating them — he made some nice plays,” Manning said.
But the Packers, often rushing just four defenders, disrupted Manning’s timing. The quarterback seemed to hurry some throws on crossing routes over the middle.
Defensive back Micah Hyde shadowed Beckham more in the second half. Hyde was credited with a sack of Beckham after the receiver ran what appeared to be a botched trick play in the third quarter.