EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - On Saturday night, the Giants played their eighth preseason game since Odell Beckham Jr. joined the team as a first-round draft choice last year. And the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year finally caught this first preseason passes, leading the team with five receptions for 31 yards in the Giants' 28-18 MetLife Bowl loss to the Jets.
That's more than a little misleading, of course. Beckham did not play in any preseason games as a rookie, when he was sidelined with a hamstring injury. He played in the Giants' first two games this month, but did not catch a ball despite having seven thrown to him.
Beckham's first-ever preseason reception was a seven-yarder on third-and-eight on the Giants' first offensive series. He was knocked out of bounds just short of a first down by Darrelle Revis.
"Did it mean anything special to Beckham to finally catch some passes in the month of August?
"It's still preseason," he said. "None of those catches count for anything really, so it doesn't really matter as much. But it's still great to be able to come out here and run routes and get open in the game and be able to catch passes. But like I said, there's still so much we need to improve on that it's kind of irrelevant."
The Beckham-Revis matchup was worthy of everyone's attention, even in the preseason. Beckham has played just 12 regular-season games, but he caught 91 passes to place himself among the NFL's elite receivers. And Revis has long been regarded as one of the league's very best cornerbacks.
Beckham got behind Revis once down the right sideline, but Eli Manning's pass was slightly overthrown. He almost made a spectacular catch on the same route later in the half, but it would not have counted because he landed out of bounds.
The two will see each other again on Dec. 6, when the Giants host the Jets in a regular-season game.
"I think it's going to be a very good matchup during the season," Beckham said. "He's one of the best out there. I think it'll be better once we all watch film and we really see how he's going to play and reach our game plan for a team. It was great to be able to just get out there, get into the offense a little bit, and have fun.
"He's been one of the best (cornerbacks) in the league and he's a great player, so you have to tip your hat to him."
Beckham will try to get Revis to tip his hat when they meet again.
*Cornerback Prince Amukamara, who missed the first two preseason games with a groin injury, played for the first time since tearing his biceps last Nov. 3 vs. Indianapolis. He played the entire first half, as did all of the starters.
"The positive for the first half, for me, I felt good," he said.
"I felt loose running around, the first time I've been out here since Week 8 of last year, with the biceps injury. Just being able to tackle and play man-to-man, I felt pretty good. A couple negatives, I missed one with Brandon Marshall and he caught a slant. I still have to work a little on my press technique. Overall, as a defense, I felt the first drive we stopped them and when you stop any team on their first drive, that's huge momentum for your team. After that, we struggled and I felt like we kept beating ourselves with leverages; when you have to stay inside, stay inside; when you have outside contain for the run, you stay outside, and we just hurt ourselves. We just have to go back to the film room and always get better and fix those things.
*The Giants' leading rusher was backup quarterback Ryan Nassib, who gained 30 yards on three carries, including a 16-yarder. Nassib played the entire second half and completed 11 of 18 passes for 122 yards, including a six-yarder in the fourth quarter to tight end Jerome Cunningham for the Giants' second touchdown.
"I think we strung together a couple nice drives," Nassib said. "I thought we had a pretty good day moving the ball. We've got to take away some of the three and outs. It was a great learning experience for us."
*Rookie safety Landon Collins started after missing one game with a knee injury suffered two weeks ago in Cincinnati.
"I did all that in practice and if I couldn't do it in practice, I wasn't going to try to come out and push it in the game," Collins said. "They're telling me don't make a stupid choice and try and just push through it, just come out there and be smart. All the cutting I needed to do in practice, I felt confident in that and came out here and did the same thing."
*Rookie offensive lineman Bobby Hart (ankle) and cornerback Josh Gordy (hip) left the game with injuries.
*Backup safety Cooper Taylor had the Giants' only sack.
*The Giants' game captains were Jameel McClain, Rashad Jennings and Trevin Wade.
*Defensive end Robert Ayers suffered an ankle injury during warmups and did not play. Cullen Jenkins, normally a tackle, started at right defensive end, and Damontre Moore started on the left side.
*The following Giants players did not suit up for the game against the Jets: wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf); center Weston Richburg (knee); linebackers Jon Beason (knee), Mark Herzlich (concussion) and Jonathan Casillas (neck); defensive end George Selvie (knee); cornerbacks Chykie Brown (knee) and Chandler Fenner (hamstring); safeties Bennett Jackson (knee) and Nat Berhe (calf); and offensive linemen Will Beatty (PUP, pec) and Brandon Mosley (back).
*The Giants trail in the preseason series against the Jets, 25-21-1.
Photos from the Giants Preseason Week 3 matchup with the Jets