WR Odell Beckham is excited to make his playoff debut Sunday vs. the Packers:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Great performers want to appear on the biggest stages, so it's only natural that Odell Beckham, Jr. relishes the opportunity to play in his first postseason game.
Beckham, who has yearned to be in this forum since arriving here in 2014, will do so Sunday when the Giants face the Green Bay Packers in an NFC Wild Card Game in Lambeau Field. After all, isn't this time of year when NFL legends are made?
"Absolutely," Beckham said in a crowded news conference today in the fieldhouse at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. "I'm excited about the opportunity to even be able to play in the playoffs. For me, it's like...I feel like I've talked about it for years since I've been here, and it's finally here. It's not really here until Sunday, I think, or even when we take off to go to Green Bay and it all kind of will settle in. I'm just trying to hold it all together and I just don't know where I'm going to be at. I know I'm going to be very amped up and very excited."
The Louisiana native is even pumped at the prospect of playing a game in the legendary Green Bay cold, with wind chills expected in the single digits.
"It's perfect football weather," Beckham said.
The playoffs, of course, are inherently pressurized. One big play can send a team and its Super Bowl dreams onto the next round, while a single mistake can lead to elimination and an offseason colder than the anticipated Wisconsin weather.
It's the kind of high-stakes, pressurized environment Beckham relishes.
"I just don't know what more you would ask for," he said. "It's fourth-and-one, it's 1:36 left on the clock, you're down five, you need a play or you just need a first down to stay alive, but you score a touchdown. It's something about those moments, knowing you have to get it done. There's no ifs, ands, or buts about it, there's no way around it, you just have to get it done. I do enjoy those moments. It's like taking the last shot. You never know if you're going to fail unless you shoot."
Beckham had his share of big moments in the regular season. There was the game-winning 66-yard touchdown reception with 1:24 remaining against Baltimore. And the 61-yard go-ahead score in a showdown with Dallas. Beckham made an acrobatic catch to score the Giants' only touchdown in their 23-16 loss on Oct. 9 in Lambeau. He made a strong case for being considered the NFL's best receiver by finishing the season with 101 receptions for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns.
And that's with receiving more attention – by far – than any other Giants player from opposing defenses.
"I think each and every week it's a challenge for Odell," coach Ben McAdoo said. "Teams go in and they have a good plan. Not only do they have one plan for him, but they have multiple plans throughout the course of the game. They try to disguise what they're doing. There are a couple of different things that they like to do during the course of the game, not just one, to try and take him away."
Despite that, Beckham continues to thrive. Through 43 career games, he has 288 receptions, 4,122 yards and 35 touchdowns.
"We're literally seeing this kid grow in front of our eyes," said Victor Cruz, who, at age 30, has become the wizened veteran of the Giants' receiving corps. "For me as a teammate, it's something that is fun to watch. It's fun to see him hold it down and continue to produce week-in and week-out. It's something that I've helped him with, whether it's just saying words to him or talking to him about what is expected of him, and how I view him. It's something that has been very fun to watch and it's only going to get better."
That can happen this weekend, when Beckham gets to play in his long-awaited first playoff game.
"(When) I get Lambeau, it'll really hit me," he said. "We went there earlier in the year, Sunday night game. We didn't come out and put our best foot forward, but it's a truly and incredible, amazing atmosphere to play in. One of the historic places, in my opinion. I think it should be very exciting against a red-hot team, a very good team, offensive and defense, and they're just playing at a high level. Obviously, it's win or go home, so you have to put your best foot forward and that's what we plan to do.
"I expect to be very excited, very anxious. It's a situation I've never been in, something I feel like I've always dreamed of. I've had to sit back and watch playoffa the past two years since I've been in the league, and even before that, I was watching playoffs. I'm really excited right now. I don't want to say that I don't know what to expect. I know obviously what's at hand but...I'm just ready for it. I wish it was tomorrow, but we get some days to prepare and get ready for it."
Beckham on his first postseason stage – it should be quite a show.
Photos from the all-time series between the Giants and Packers