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Odell Beckham Jr. ends rookie season in record-breaking style

12/28/2014

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Odell Beckham Jr. finished his rookie season with a bang.

The dazzling wide receiver from LSU had 12 receptions for 185 yards and a touchdown in the New York Giants' 34-26 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The 12 catches equaled his best total of the year, and the 185 yards were a career high. All that despite Beckham saying he battled nausea during the game.

Beckham's final numbers on the season -- 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 TDs -- were outstanding. But when you factor in that he missed the first four games with a hamstring injury, they turn spectacular.

In fact, Beckham set an NFL record for most receptions and receiving yards in a player's first 12 games in the league. That should blow your mind if it hasn't already.

It's only 12 games, but we could be witnessing the emergence of an NFL superstar.

"I felt the year went well," Beckham said, in perhaps the understatement of the year. "There's still so much I can look back on and say, I wish I had done that or I wish I had done this. But it was great to get in and to be able to learn and experience things and just get a year of experience under my belt."

Beckham sent us into the offseason with a couple of more highlight-reel plays to savor. His acrobatic grab late in the third quarter, reminiscent of "The Catch Heard Round The World" against the Dallas Cowboys five weeks ago, set up a Giants field goal that cut their deficit to 24-19.

Early in the fourth quarter, Beckham caught a short pass from Eli Manning and dusted two defenders to take it to the house, a 63-yard score that pulled the Giants within 31-26.

There was no taunting penalty called on Beckham after the touchdown, like there was last week in St. Louis, but there certainly could have been. A few yards from the goal line, Beckham turned around and backpedaled into the end zone, looking at the chasing Eagles defenders before turning back around and firing the ball at the wall behind the end zone.

Beckham also fired his helmet off his head after taking a hard hit on an incompletion in the first half. The Eagles defender could have been flagged for pass interference and/or an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit, but Beckham could have been flagged for taking off and throwing his helmet, too.

"I play with my heart on my sleeve," Beckham said. "I do my best to control it, and sometimes it gets the best of me, and that's part of the learning experience -- learning how to control your emotions and play through the whatever you want to call it, getting targeted and getting hit, teams trying to take you out. Whatever it is, just learning to play through it, and that's part of the game."

That Beckham admits he has work to do on this is a promising sign. An even more promising sign is his play on the field, which should result in him winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

In next year's regular-season opener, he'll have a chance to break another record. Beckham tied former Dallas Cowboys receicer Michael Irvin on Sunday for the most consecutive games with at least 90 receiving yards (nine).

"Any time you get put in a category with a great like that, a Hall of Famer, it's an accomplishment," Beckham said. "It's an honor and it's a privilege to be in the same boat as him."