Cleveland Browns: Top 5 opposing receivers in 2016
The Browns will welcome the New York Giants to town in Week 12, preceding their later than usual bye week. On the surface, it appears that this matchup bodes well for the Browns, as they have won three out of their last four games at home against NFC opponents.
The conditions in late November may also favor the Browns, especially against the Giants passing attack. However, Cleveland’s secondary will face a unique challenge in one of the most, if not the, most talented wide receivers in all of football in Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham, the No. 12 overall selection of the 2014 NFL Draft, exploded into a football sensation, dropping jaws across the league with his circus grabs. On an offense which lacks a real potent spark, Beckham is often times the sole source of production. His 1,450 receiving yards last season was the fifth-most among all receivers, and his 1,305 in his rookie year was enough to net him Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Sure, Beckham may light up the scoreboard only because he is the center of attention on New York’s offense, but his incredible first two years statistically are no accidents. Beckham is a difficult downfield threat for any defense to deal with.
The third-year touchdown machine is so effective not only due to his reliable pass catching ability, but also because of his blazing speed. To combat Beckham, the Browns will need to pay much more attention to him defensively, which they can afford to do since the Giants lack alternate big play options. If the Browns can shut down Beckham with not only Joe Haden, but Justin Gilbert, and help from their safeties as well, they can make him stagnant by not allowing him to run freely in the open field.
One of the main keys to winning this Week 12 matchup is making sure Beckham doesn’t win this game for him team alone. The strategy should be fairly simple, but still, any mistake or miscommunication within the secondary will be exploited. Beckham could easily take over this game, making stopping him one of the toughest tasks the Browns will face this season.
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