Odell Beckham Jr. is frustrated with the New York Giants and Eli Manning’s poor play at quarterback, and those emotions came to a head in the team’s blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football.
The New York Giants came into Week 6 desperately needing a strong showing against the rival Philadelphia Eagles. With a 1-4 record and tension in the organization, the Giants needed to bounce back, and much of the focus was on quarterback Eli Manning, who has looked washed-up in 2018.
After one half of play, the Giants were getting roundly trounced by the Eagles, falling behind 24-6. Manning was even more awful than usual, which is quite the statement. But with just 10 completions on 23 attempts, Eli completely held the Giants back with his ineptitude, tossing a first-quarter interception with no touchdowns.
Frustrated, superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had seen enough, and he walked off the field and into the locker room during the game.
Beckham is the team’s biggest star, having recently inked a six-year deal worth over $100 million. However, he’s been a relatively smaller part of the Giants offense this season, and the reduction in targets in explicable. Odell saw just four targets and grinded out a meager 12 receiving yards, in spite of the fact that he faced one-on-one coverage throughout most of the game. Eli, for some reason, preferred to target Cody Latimer more frequently.
While Latimer has shown promise as a formerly touted young wide receiver, he isn’t nearly on the same level as Odell. Although Beckham had three straight 1,300-yard seasons to start his career and is somehow averaging 92.4 yards per game this season despite Eli’s struggles, there’s speculation that Eli may be holding a grudge against a publicly upset Odell (VIDEO), who should be a bigger part of this offense.
Rookie running back Saquon Barkley’s big-play ability on the ground and work in the passing game were the lone bright spots for the Giants in their drubbing against the Eagles. Despite Barkley’s talent, fans are wondering if the Giants should have drafted a quarterback with the second overall pick. For as good as Barkley is, Manning is just that much worse at a more important position. Barkley can keep killing it, but the Giants will keep on losing.
Consistent losing creates a culture of discontent that permeates throughout the locker room. Once looked at as a leader, Eli is now holding the Giants back, and they just might have to pick between their two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback and their $100 million superstar if Odell’s exit in this game is an indication of what’s to come in New York.
Keep an eye out for the fallout from this, because this is an even bigger story than the Giants embarrassing themselves against a division rival. Odell’s actions may be hurting the team, but it may be for the best if it leads to the Giants getting serious about rethinking their strategy with a has-been quarterback.
The problem, of course, is that the Giants can’t immediately bench Eli, unless if they want to risk starting Kyle Lauletta, a fourth-round rookie from a small school, at quarterback this year.
Eli’s starting job is save, but his future in New York might be over, pending the sequence of events that could emerge from Odell’s emotional exit to the locker room.