For the 18th consecutive season, the New York Giants will send at least one representative to the Pro Bowl.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. kept that streak alive this week when the NFL announced that he replaced Detroit's Calvin Johnson, who is out with an injury. Previously named a first alternate, Beckham will carry the Big Blue banner in the 2015 Pro Bowl, tonight at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Here are five reasons to watch the breakout rookie in the showcase game and an appetizer to Super Bowl XLIX:
1. The many firsts of Beckham.
Beckham, who broke franchise rookie records with 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games this season, is the first Giants rookie receiver ever selected to the Pro Bowl. He is the first Giants rookie, regardless of the position, to make the annual all-star game since tight end Jeremy Shockey in 2002. He is also the team's first wide receiver to make it since Victor Cruz in 2012. So before Beckham even steps onto the field in Glendale, he has already made history.
2. Pro Bowl is pro-offense.
Defense may win championships, but it doesn't claim Pro Bowls. Rather, it's all about the offense, especially the passing game. In the past five years, 411 points have been scored, averaging out to 82.2 per game. We've seen what Beckham can do when teams key on him during live action. So he could have a field day in an all-star game.
4. How he stacks up against his peers.
At the end of the day, the Pro Bowl is a talent showcase. And there will be plenty of it to around. We saw Beckham go up against some of the best defenders during the season, but the entire field will be littered with all-stars this time. And aside from going up against premier defensive backs, the competitive natures will come out among the receivers as they try to top each other.
5. The exclamation point.
After the Pro Bowl, Giants fans will have to wait another seven months to see their first-round pick again in live action. And based on his career-high 185 yards and 12 catches in the season finale against Philadelphia, Beckham always leaves them wanting more. However, the next time, he won't be a rookie. He'll be looking for a repeat performance.