By Paul Dottino
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OK, take a breath. If you haven't been paying attention for the past two months – Giants rookie WR Odell Beckham Jr. really is THAT good.
His record-breaking performance in the 24-13 victory over the Washington Redskins came on a day when the rest of the team's offense (287 total yards) really couldn't get any momentum going, requiring him to be a one-man show.
And he wasn't the only eye-opener: the Giants set a franchise record by registering at least seven sacks in a game for the third consecutive week.
And the Giants recovered an onside kick for the second time this season – they first did so against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 11. In this game, the unusual third-quarter kickoff came from the opponents' 35, thanks to a double-penalty against Washington (more on that in a second).
And Redskins QB Robert Griffin III had an apparent touchdown at the end of the first half taken away when the replay correctly showed he was juggling the ball as he crossed the goal line on a run to the right corner. Angry WR Santana Moss protested the overturned score and drew two separate unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for inappropriate language toward the referees, setting up the unique second-half kickoff at the Washington 35.
Offense-WR Odell Beckham Jr. The stats ALMOST tell it all: 12 catches for 143 yards and three TDs. What they don't show is that he had a fourth touchdown grab – for 30 yards – nullified by RT Justin Pugh's fourth-quarter holding penalty. The 12 catches are second-most by a WR in team history and made him the sixth Giant to catch that many passes in a game. (Tiki Barber had 13 in January 2000.) In his 10th game, Beckham set a team rookie record with 972 receiving yards for the season. Beckham also became the first-ever Giants rookie to catch three TD passes in a game.
Defense-CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Sure, the Giants' seven sacks were impressive, but DRC made the most important defensive play of the game when he tracked down WR Andre Roberts from behind on a 61-yard catch-and-run with 6:19 left in the third and the game tied at 10. Griffin beat the Giants on a blitz, firing a strike to Roberts over the middle as S Antrel Rolle took a bad angle. Roberts appeared to have a clear path to the end zone - but DRC took off and somehow closed on him to make the stop at the Giants 28. The Redskins settled for a 38-yard field goal and a 13-10 lead.
Special teams-CB Chandler Fenner. At the start of the third quarter, he recovered the onside kick at the Redskins 17 - after three other Giants missed their chance to grab the ball. The Giants only managed Josh Brown's 32-yard field goal, but it tied the game at 10.
Offense-RT Justin Pugh. Pugh's holding penalty -- albeit a quick tug on OLB Ryan Kerrigan's shoulders that often gets overlooked -- wiped out a Beckham touchdown. Enough said.
Defense-S Antrel Rolle. His misplay on the Andre Roberts catch nearly cost the Giants' defense a touchdown. And one play before Griffin's controversial juggling TD attempt, Rolle reached up and was unable to hold an interception, allowing TE Jordan Reed (who was behind him) to knock away an underthrown ball in the left corner of the end zone.
Special teams-TE Adrien Robinson, S Stevie Brown and LB Spencer Paysinger. Each of them reached for the onside kickoff to start the second half, but had the ball squirm away. Lucky for them, crawling teammate Chandler Fenner was able to cover it.
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