<
>

Giants' Odell Beckham eager to face Seahawks' Richard Sherman

11/5/2014

New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had his best game yet Monday night, with eight catches for 156 yards against the Indianapolis Colts.

Now he faces his biggest challenge so far -- a matchup with the Seattle Seahawks, and more specifically the Legion of Boom.

Seattle's secondary was the primary reason the team won the Super Bowl last season, and it's a strong unit again this year -- headlined by cornerback Richard Sherman.

Sherman may be lined up opposite Beckham frequently on Sunday, but Giants quarterback Eli Manning believes the rookie is up to the challenge.

"Yeah, I think Odell Beckham has done some really good things," Manning said Wednesday, on a conference call with reporters. "I think he is up for whatever challenge is thrown at him. And he is still growing as a player, but I think he definitely does some good things and we need him to keep getting better and keep making plays for us."

Beckham has only played in four NFL games, missing the first four of the season because of a hamstring injury that also sidelined him for the entire preseason. But he's obviously a fast learner. He already has three touchdown catches, in addition to the breakout game against the Colts, and appears to be Manning's best weapon now that Victor Cruz is out for the rest of the year.

And Beckham is looking forward to facing Sherman & Co. this weekend.

"These are the games you live to play for, the moments you live to play for -- to go against the best of the best, to go against Richard Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks and the L.O.B." Beckham said. "Why not embrace that opportunity? Why not take the challenge, accept it and face it?"

It won't be easy. The Seahawks' defense is ranked sixth against the pass this season (221.9 yards per game), and fourth against the run (83.0). Starting cornerback Byron Maxwell and safety Kam Chancellor both missed last week's win against the Raiders due to injury, but at least Chancellor is expected to return this week. Meanwhile, Sherman currently sports the fourth-highest rating of all cornerbacks in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.

"I am never going to back down from anyone," Beckham said. "He has some experience. He is a big, athletic guy that wants to press at the line. Those are all things he does well, so you have to try to find, as few as there are, you have to try and find those weaknesses that he has. At the end of the day, it is football. You have to go out and play football and give it your best. Whatever happens, happens."

Neither player lacks confidence, that's for sure. This will certainly be a fun matchup to watch.