Odell Beckham Jr. versus Damarious Randall and Company
Quite frankly there’s no real way to paint a rosy picture about this matchup on the Packers’ side. Their pass defense is ranked 29th overall and with Sam Shields continuing to recover from his Week 1 concussion, there’s no immediate relief on the horizon.
Will Beckham Jr. see a steady diet of Randall in this Sunday night affair? Probably, when you factor in that the second-year man is the cornerback who’s currently best equipped to shadow the shifty deep threat.
Hopefully, all the extra film work Randall has (hopefully) put in over the bye week will have a positive effect on the technique he’ll use to defend the golden-maned playmaker.
But the fact of the matter is Randall is being miscast as Shields’ replacement in the role of No. 1 cornerback. Every team’s top target is not only getting open with the 24-year-old in coverage, but they are punishing him with big plays, as evidenced by opposing receivers averaging 21.8 yards per catch against the converted college safety.
What’s been especially discouraging about Randall’s performance is his non-aggressive coverage style that’s been leaving opponents ample cushion to tack on extra yardage after the catch.
Randall may be better served in adopting the same type of physicality Xavier Rhodes employed in taking on OBJ, who can get overly emotional and thrown off his game if he thinks the officials are letting defensive backs get away with rough-housing tactics.
Of course, if No. 23 doesn’t deliver, Beckham will almost certainly see more of Quinten Rollins who hasn’t performed much better than Randall. The Miami of Ohio product has the natural movement skills and leaping ability to stay with NFL receivers, but he doesn’t always react quickly to plays and has been known to miss tackles.
It’s hard to envision the Packers keeping all of New York’s top three receivers out of the end zone, but Capers’ top priority should be to prevent big chunk plays or keep them to a minimum at the very least.
Giants’ GM Jerry Reese spent somewhere in the area of $200 million to build his own version of the Big Blue Wrecking Crew that featured Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson among others in the mid to late 1980s.
But the returns to this point haven’t been promising since the Giants have failed to produce a single takeaway during the first quarter of the regular season. What’s more, they currently rank last in quarterback sacks (4).
Teams that don’t win the turnover battle and can’t get to the quarterback are usually the ones that spend their Januarys shoveling their sidewalks rather than game planning for post-season play.