Odell Beckham Jr. caught six passes for 77 yards and a touchdown in the Los Angeles Rams’ 30-23 “Monday Night Football” victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 13.
This marked the third consecutive game OBJ had a touchdown for the Rams. It had been 2,185 days since the former All-Pro did that.
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) December 14, 2021
In his four games since signing with the Rams OBJ has caught 15 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns. In six games with the Cleveland Browns, before his release, he caught 17 passes for 233 yards and zero touchdowns.
You might remember the talented wideout’s father, Odell Beckham Sr., was pretty critical of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. The elder Beckham released a video on Facebook detailing Mayfield’s ineptitude at the position and the quarterback’s inability to get his son the ball.
OBJ signed with the Rams to work under noted offensive mind Sean McVay, and with the other weapons at quarterback Matthew Stafford’s disposal in a pass-friendly offense.
When fellow wide receiver Robert Woods tore his ACL and was ruled out for the season, OBJ became a bigger part of the game plan. With every game in a Rams uniform he gets more comfortable with the scheme. The presence of Cooper Kupp allows OBJ to not have to worry about double-teams, which is hugely beneficial.
Since releasing OBJ the Browns have gone 3-2 and Mayfield has been pedestrian. He ranks 19th in Football Outsiders DYAR, 17th in DVOA and 26th in QBR. Maybe Beckham Sr. had a point in his Mayfield critique?
In situations like these there is plenty of blame to go around. It’s never just one thing. Yes, Mayfield played poorly, but was OBJ always helpful in improving the quarterback’s play? Are head coach and offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski and Alex Van Pelt good at adapting their scheme and philosophy to match the talent in the locker room? Do they know how to find ways to get talented players like OBJ touches in space or against a mismatch?
Of course there are those that want to place all the blame on OBJ and use the lazy “diva wide receiver” label. Minnesota Vikings wide receiver and fellow LSU alumnus Jordan Jefferson tweeted out support of OBJ after MNF.
OBJ WAS NOT THE PROBLEM!! I hope y’all see that now…CLOWNS😂😂🤡🤡
— JJETS✈️ (@JJettas2) December 14, 2021
Also, count FS1’s Shannon Sharpe as someone who doesn’t think OBJ was the problem in Cleveland. He co-signed Jefferson’s tweet and had some harsh word for Mayfield.
.@ShannonSharpe on Justin Jefferson saying OBJ wasn't the problem in Cleveland:
"I agree with him and people who understand football know that OBJ wasn't the problem. Odell has been gone for a month, and Baker is still playing like some trash, now what's the excuse?" pic.twitter.com/VQas0BdXGB
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) December 14, 2021
Excluding his first game with the Rams, where OBJ played only 15 snaps, he is averaging 4.3 catches for 62 yards and a touchdown per game for the Rams. That translates to 1,054 yards and 17 TDs over a 17-game season. That’s not bad.
“It’s just great to be having fun,” Beckham said following the game. “This is big kids at heart who love football.”
At his core OBJ wants to have fun playing football, and winning helps that.
The change in environment to a winning franchise with Super Bowl aspirations had to be like a breath of fresh air for OBJ. There is also a clearly established pecking order at receiver, and Stafford is a better quarterback than Mayfield.
At 9-4 the Rams are one game back of the division lead and one game back of the NFC lead. As OBJ gets more comfortable with the offense and develops chemistry with Stafford, the Rams will win games and peak for a deep playoff run.
It was reported on Tuesday Dec. 14th by Josina Anderson that OBJ has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in health and safety protocols.
I'm told #Rams WR Odell Beckham Jr. has tested positive for COVID19, per league source.
— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) December 14, 2021
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