Odell Beckham Jr. has played just one game for the Rams and critical criticism is already pouring in. One particularly spicy came from former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman.
Appearing on 96.7 The Ticket in Dallas on Tuesday morning, Aikman blamed Beckham for some of Matthew Stafford’s problems, including his first interception, and claimed that Stafford felt “pressured” to force the ball on Beckham.
Here’s a look at their comments, like Transcribed by Mark Lane of Texans Wire.
Matthew Stafford throws an interception on opening possession because he’s trying to get the ball to OBJ. Whether you have stopped en route or not, you will not complete that pass. There are two defenders back there.
But I think Matthew now feels some of the pressure that maybe Baker Mayfield felt, hey, we have to get this guy involved, or he’s in the game right now because he’s going to take this deep route and I have to find a way to get this ball in his hands. hands because that is why you are playing this play. It’s not good, and it’s not good to play quarterback when you feel pressure to get the ball to a particular player. It just doesn’t work. Then I do not know. Maybe they can get out of it and get it going. But that was a beating last night.
There’s no denying the Rams took a beating against the 49ers, but Aikman is reading too much about Beckham’s debut and his chemistry with Stafford.
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The play Aikman referred to was not a good one from either player in any way. Beckham probably took the wrong route. Stafford definitely shouldn’t have thrown the ball in double coverage.
That said, Stafford had more than four full seconds to scan the field on that play. He ended up throwing the ball at Beckham because, in all likelihood, he didn’t see anyone else open. It didn’t seem like Stafford was consciously concentrating on Beckham and only Beckham during that play; He clearly looked in the way of his checkup, Darrell Henderson, twice. Henderson was covered.
Stafford had a decision to make. He delved into Beckham and it wasn’t worth it.
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Stafford could have forced that pitch, but the point is, he wasn’t specifically forcing it on Beckham on that play or for the rest of the game. Stafford targeted Beckham three times during the receiver’s 15 plays. That’s hardly forcing him on the ball, especially when you break the goals he saw in addition to the interception.
Beckham’s first goal came on the first play of the game. He ran a fast 5-yard route, stopped, and Stafford gave him the ball. It was open to work.
In his final goal, Beckham cleanly beat Josh Norman on a return route. He quickly turned around and parted ways with Norman to get his second catch of the day.
That was the last time Beckham saw the ball. He was not a goal after the early stages of the second quarter and he spent much of the second half on the sidelines. Overall, he played just 27 percent of the team’s offensive plays.
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This is not the situation that Beckham faced with the Browns. He and Baker Mayfield never clicked in three years. Beckham and Stafford have only been given one game to sync up.
It’s also worth noting that Stafford was trying to navigate that game without his No. 2 receiver Robert Woods, who suffered a torn ACL in practice Friday. So maybe he was trying to foster an early connection with Beckham so that Beckham can help replace Woods’ production.
And also, Beckham probably only saw action in this game because of Woods’ injury. After all, he had been with the Rams for only a few days before their “Monday Night Football” game.
Either way, it’s too early to say that Stafford faces pressure to get Beckham the ball. They are just getting to know each other and are trying to quickly build some chemistry.
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The Rams have a bye in Week 11, so Beckham can focus on syncing up with Stafford before the team’s next game. If there are problems at that time, perhaps we can start to worry.
But doing it after Beckham played 15 plays four days after joining the Rams is more than premature.