New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman could not stop going at each other Sunday.
The Odell Beckham-Josh Norman thing on Sunday just went on and on and on, and I thought the officials erred early in the game by letting too much go.
The Carolina Panthers’ 38-35 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday won’t be one either player will enjoy looking back upon. Beckham took one of the cheapest shots I’ve ever seen at Norman and also dropped what would have been a sure 52-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
For his part, Norman allowed a 14-yard TD pass to Beckham deep in the fourth quarter and drew two personal fouls (compared to Beckham’s three).
I thought both coaches should have pulled their player out for a series and let them cool off. Ron Rivera said he would have taken Norman out for awhile, but only if Tom Coughlin had taken Beckham off.
The whole thing between Norman and Beckham resembled a game of “chicken.” Or, as Cam Newton said later: “You got a field full of alpha males, they’re not going to be playing ‘Patty cake, Patty cake’ out there.”
A still-angry Norman later called Beckham a “ballerina” and compared him to “Michael Jackson” in his postgame comments. Beckham mostly just kept saying, “It’s unfortunate that we lost” any time someone asked him about Norman.
Not the greatest Sunday for either guy, but I’d say it ultimately comes out a little worse for Beckham. He has more endorsements to lose, and he took the most obvious cheap shot with his helmet-to-helmet hit (that should have gotten him thrown out of the game and will undoubtedly get him fined). Beckham still scored a big TD Sunday, but his reputation nevertheless suffered a major blow.
▪ The Panthers didn’t have a sack Sunday for the first time this season and I thought their rush was pedestrian at best. Kawann Short did have a nice quarterback hurry on Eli Manning’s lone interception, but too often Carolina just wasn’t getting there. That’s not going to work.
▪ Greg Olsen has now had two straight 1,000-yard seasons at tight end for Carolina. I didn’t think Olsen looked totally healthy Sunday, but he played and his 37-yard touchdown catch was a thing of beauty. That TD also resulted from a perfect play call by offensive coordinator Mike Shula.
Olsen was honest about what Sunday had meant if the Panthers had lost the game.
“When you’re up 35-7 in the second half – those games need to be over,” Olsen said. “It’s got to be over and guys are getting substituted (out of the game), like last week. When you have a good team, playing at home, fighting for their lives. you can’t give them life. And we gave them life. … If we didn’t pull that out, that would have been pretty devastating.”
▪ Ted Ginn Jr. is on the best streak of his life. He has now had two receiving touchdowns in each of the past three games, for a total of 10 on the year.
OBJ and Josh Norman is hand to hand combat right not pic.twitter.com/sP0vzX0Fhh
— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) December 20, 2015
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