Odell Beckham Jr’s Breakout Performance versus Cowboys

Nov 27, 2014
Samuel Gold


beckham cowboys cover

The rookie wide receiver from LSU, Odell Beckham Jr, has put together an impressive rookie season so far totaling 41 receptions, 601 yards and 5 touchdowns. But nothing was more impressive than his performance Sunday night versus the Cowboys. Let’s breakdown his plays.

Stats – 10 receptions on 11 targets, 146 yds, 14.6 yds/rec, 2 tds, 1 rush for -2 yds

Play 1
Situation: 3rd and 5 at NYG 25
Description: Q1 – (12:50) (No Huddle, Shotgun) E.Manning pass short middle to O.Beckham to NYG 37 for 12 yards (B.Church).
Sideline View

Beckham lines up in the slot and runs a slant route across the middle. The Cowboys are in Cover 2 with four underneath zones across the middle. FS38 Heath and DE93 Spencer drop into the interior zones.

Watch how quickly Manning moves through his progressions. His first read is WR83 Parker and then he quickly moves to his second read. Great throw by Manning.

Play 2
Situation: 3rd and 3 at DAL 3
Description: Q1 – (7:06) (Shotgun) E.Manning pass short middle to O.Beckham for 3 yards, TOUCHDOWN. J.Brown extra point is GOOD, Center-Z.DeOssie, Holder-S.Weatherford. PENALTY on DAL-O.Scandrick, Defensive Offside, 5 yards, enforced between downs.
Sideline View

Beckham lines up on the right outside and runs a slant-hitch route. Cowboys line up in single-high safety with six zones across the goal line.

Watch how Beckham runs his route. He doesn’t sprint off of the line. He knows his responsibility is just to sit at the goal line as the safety valve for Manning.

Play 3
Situation: 2nd and 11 at NYG 33
Description: Q1 – (2:19) (No Huddle) E.Manning pass short right to O.Beckham to NYG 46 for 13 yards (B.Carr).
Sideline View

Beckham lines up on the right outside and runs a deep comeback route. Cowboys line up in Cover 2, but are actually playing Cover 1 Robber. The outside CBs are in off-man coverage over their respective WRs.

Manning throws the ball too far to the outside and high of Beckham, but Beckham makes a leaping grab for it. Watch how quickly Beckham turns his hips at the top of the route. The ability to change directions on a dime makes Beckham very explosive.

Play 4
Situation: 1st and 10 at DAL 43
Description: Q2 – (15:00) E.Manning pass deep right to O.Beckham for 43 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Penalty on DAL-B.Carr, Defensive Pass Interference, declined. The Replay Official challenged the pass completion ruling, and the play was Upheld. The ruling on the field was confirmed. J.Brown extra point is GOOD, Center-Z.DeOssie, Holder-S.Weatherford.
Sideline View

This is the catch heard round the world. Manning lines up in offset-I formation. Beckham is on the outside right with CB Carr playing man-to-man coverage. Cowboys are in single-high safety with four linebacker zones underneath. Manning runs a PA bootleg to the right that sucks up all of the linebackers into the line of scrimmage expecting a running play.

Beckham runs an out-and-up route that Carr actually covers well. Watch as Beckham cuts on the out portion of the route. Carr bets correctly that Beckham is going to go deep and he continues on his path. It is not until Carr turns his body expecting the ball to come down sooner that he interferes with Beckham. Beckham uses his strength to get off of the pass interference and make a leaping backwards dive for the ball to catch the touchdown.

To be critical, if I was Manning I would not have thrown the ball to Beckham in this situation. Watch WR83 Parker run his deep-in route across the middle of the field. Below is the snapshot of Manning’s view as he releases the ball. This is the point where Parker breaks on his route. He has a step over his CB in man-coverage and there is a huge hole between the deep Cover 1 safety and the 4 inside linebackers that were sucked up in the play-action.

Play 5
Situation: 3rd and 8 at NYG 34
Description: Q2 – (7:32) (No Huddle, Shotgun) E.Manning pass short middle to O.Beckham to NYG 48 for 14 yards (O.Scandrick).
Sideline View

Beckham lines up on the left outside of the formation and runs an in-route over the middle of the field catching the pass. CB Scrandrick is all over Beckham in great man-to-man coverage.

This play worked due to the timing of Manning’s pass. It was thrown right before Beckham breaks and the moment Beckham breaks inside he is open for the split second to catch the ball. Great throw by Manning and credit to Beckham for using his strength to haul in the pass.

Play 6
Situation: 1st and 15 at NYG 43
Description: Q2 – (6:49) (No Huddle, Shotgun) E.Manning pass short right to O.Beckham to NYG 49 for 6 yards (S.Moore).
Sideline View

Beckham lines up in the backfield with Manning in shotgun. The play is a screen pass to Beckham. Great blocking by WR82 Randle to set the edge and box out his CB. In the slot, WR83 Parker’s block on CB 26 Moore was not executed well and neither was TE84 Donnell’s block on LB55 McClain.

Play 7
Situation: 3rd and 6 at DAL 48
Description: Q2 – (5:30) (No Huddle, Shotgun) E.Manning pass short middle to O.Beckham to DAL 36 for 12 yards (J.Wilcox).
Sideline View

Beckham lines up on the left and motions pre-snap underneath the trips bunch right formation. CB32 Scandrick follows Beckham across the formation indicating man-to-man coverage. Beckham runs an angle route underneath the bunch that are running clear-out routes. This was a clear designed play to Beckham from the beginning.

Watch how Beckham uses his strength to fight off LB59 Hitchens and CB32 Scandrick from tackling him. Great show of strength.

Play 8
Situation: 2nd and 20 at NYG 48
Description: Q2 – (:05) (Shotgun) E.Manning pass short right to O.Beckham to DAL 30 for 22 yards (S.Moore).
Sideline View

This is the last play of the half, so the Cowboys line up in prevent defense to make sure Manning doesn’t throw any deep passes. The play is a WR screen pass to Beckham on the right outside.

As the blockers on the edge set up the running lanes for Beckham, TE84 Donnell hesitates taking on CB26 Moore. I would like to have seen Donnell drive through the CB in a clear mismatch of size to help Beckham, but Moore is able to shut down the play. Granted the play probably would have only gone on for another 5 yards, but as a blocker on a screen pass your role is simply to clear out players and give a clear running lane for your WR.

Play 9
Situation: 1st and 10 at NYG 24
Description: Q3 – (6:29) O.Beckham right end to NYG 22 for -2 yards (B.Church). End around.
Sideline View


Endzone View

The play is an end-around to Beckham. The initial play-action to the RB draws some of the linebackers to the left side, but not SS42 Church or LB53 Lawrence who read the play well. Church does a good job of shedding TE84 Donnell’s block on the edge.

This is another play that shows that TE84 Donnell is a liability in the run/screen game. He needs to drive through the safety as opposed to shoving him backwards so he can readjust and make the play.

Play 10
Situation: 3rd and 2 at DAL 30
Description: Q3 – (3:39) (No Huddle, Shotgun) E.Manning pass short right to O.Beckham ran ob at DAL 18 for 12 yards (B.Church).
Sideline View

Beckham line up in twin stacks right and motions to the outside. Beckham runs a quick hitch route completely turning around the CB in man-to-man coverage on the edge.

Watch the cut Beckham makes back to the sideline as it causes two defenders to run into each other. This is actually the play that Beckham gets taken down outside the sideline, and the refs picked up their flags not calling the personal foul as Beckham is clearly off of the field.

Play 11
Situation: 1st and 10 at DAL 18
Description: Q3 – (3:25) (No Huddle, Shotgun) E.Manning pass incomplete deep left to O.Beckham.
Sideline View

Beckham lines up wide left and runs a stop-and-go. It fools CB32 Scandrick in man-to-man coverage allowing Beckham to gain separation over top. Manning from shotgun throws a touch pass to Beckham but places the ball too far in front of him. If the ball was placed half a yard back this would have been Beckham’s third touchdown on the day. Also, this is Beckham’s one target that goes for an incompletion and it wasn’t even his fault on the play.

Play 12
Situation: 3rd and 11 at NYG 29
Description: Q4 – (13:03) (No Huddle, Shotgun) E.Manning pass short middle to O.Beckham to NYG 38 for 9 yards (O.Scandrick). NYG-O.Beckham was injured during the play.
Sideline View

Beckham lines up on the far right side and runs a drag route across the middle underneath the Cowboys Cover 2 with three zones underneath. Beckham actually injures his back on the play and finishes the night with no more catches.

Overall an incredible performance by the rookie WR. He showed his game-breaking speed, great route-running and incredible hands topped off with the 43 yard touchdown catch with only three fingers.

The Giants have a formidable weapon that should give the rest of the NFC East fits for years to come, especially paired with Victor Cruz once Cruz comes back from his season long injury.



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About The Author

Samuel Gold
Sam founded NFL Breakdowns after working his way through the journalist farm system and is enjoying life in the big league. Growing up outside of Washington, D.C., Sam didn’t choose the Redskins, the Redskins chose him. Out of a love for the game and an insatiable curiosity to determine why his beloved team was underperforming, Sam turned to studying film in NFL Breakdowns. Follow me @SamuelRGold. For all of Sam's articles: Click Here. Sam is a guest contributor at Upvoted.com by Reddit, InsideThePylon, and RedskinsCapitalConnection.

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