After catching what proved to be the game-winning touchdown against Baltimore on Sunday – a 66-yarder from Eli Manning – Odell Beckham Jr. celebrated the splendor of the moment. And he was promptly penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct for removing his helmet.
The Giants were assessed the penalty on the ensuing kickoff but held on for the 27-23 win.
Beckham’s antics have been well-documented, but this penalty, it seems, was understandable – at least to some degree.
“Obviously we all know that’s a penalty, but at that moment in the game, I understand how excited he may have been and all the emotions that were going,” Giants defensive lineman Damon Harrison said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “That just challenged the guys on the kickoff team to go down and make an excellent play because of a penalty that was called on our teammate.”
Harrison, 27, is one of the leaders in the Giants locker room. He’s not afraid to step up, give speeches and hold guys accountable. But he didn’t do any of that Sunday.
“No, sir,” he said. “Everybody just knew what (we had to do) and what had to happen. Coach McAdoo did an excellent job of preaching that all week, as well as Coach Spags (Steve Spagnuolo) and everybody on the defensive side of the ball. So we all knew what was at stake and what we had to do. There was no need for talking.”
The Giants (3-3) snapped a three-game losing streak with their win Sunday. They rank 14th in the league in scoring defense, allowing 21.8 points per game. Not great, but definitely not bad, especially since the Giants rank 25th in scoring offense (19.3 points per game).
“We’re close,” Harrison said of the defense. “We’re not there yet. There’s still some things we have to get ironed out, but it’s still too early to formulate a solid opinion on our defense. It’s only six games in. In a few weeks, maybe (people) can start to identify our strengths and our weaknesses and be able to have some concrete evidence. But people (were) crowning us this revamped, great defense in two weeks, and then we drop three (in a row) and now (people) don’t understand why (the Giants) spent all of this money and there’s (all) this wasted talent. We just can’t get caught up in that emotional roller coaster of the media.”
The Giants play the Rams (3-3) this Sunday in London. Kickoff is at 9:30 a.m. ET.