The New York Giants came out hot on Sunday against the Chicago Bears, but it initially appeared short-lived.
After jumping out to an early lead courtesy of an Alec Ogletree pick-6, the Giants offense fell flat for the better part of the first half, barely keeping them in the game. But on what was otherwise a throwaway play with only seconds remaining in the second quarter, running back Saquon Barkley made something out of nothing, allowing Aldrick Rosas to connect on a 57-yard field goal.
Sensing the obvious momentum shift, the Giants put pedal to the medal in the third quarter and got out to a 10-point lead with under 2:00 remaining. Unfortunately, that would be short-lived.
The Bears would storm back and trim the game to just one score, setting up an onside kick that would either secure the Giants a win or give Chicago another chance.
On the onside kick, the ball came directly at Beckham, who, instead of falling on it for the victory, seemed to shy away from the scrum in front of him, instead opting to punch it out of bounds.
That approach failed.
Beckham whiffed on his attempted swat of the ball, allowing the Bears to fall on the ball with ease. Roughly a minute later, they punched it into the end zone, tied the game and sent it into overtime.
The Giants ultimately came away with the win, but Beckham’s curious decision could have doomed them. And when questioned about it after the game, a defensive Beckham scalded any reporter who would dare question his effort.
To Beckham’s credit, it’s not as if he was willingly giving the ball back to Chicago, but he’s taken better approaches to onside kicks in the past. It’s also worth noting that the line in front of him failed to do their jobs, leaving him in a precarious position.
At the end of the day, the Giants came back and won, so the error is irrelevant. Still, his teammates failing in front of him or not, a better effort is expected — and almost always given — by Beckham.
Everyone makes mistakes and OBJ is not immune. But you can guarantee he’ll never take the same approach to an onside kick again.