Odell Beckham is having fun again and the Ravens won’t be on their way back to Baltimore as a result.
On fourth-and-one with the game on the line late in the fourth quarter, Beckham caught a short pass from Eli Manning and ran by the Ravens for a 66-yard touchdown that vaulted the Giants back in the lead with 1:24 left to play in the game. Beckham picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty as he celebrated his second long scoring play of the game, forcing the Giants to kick off from their 20 and leaving the Ravens with a chance to pull out a win.
That effort got another assist from the Giants when Owa Odighizuwa was flagged for roughing the passer, giving the Ravens a first down on the Giants’ 24-yard-line with 15 seconds left to play. Joe Flacco, who finished 26-of-48 for 307 yards, threw three straight incomplete passes, however, and the Giants held on for a 27-23 win that snapped their three-game losing streak.
Beckham finished the day with eight catches for 222 yards against a secondary that lost Jimmy Smith to a concussion and Jerraud Powers to a groin injury to thin out the cornerback corps. Tavon Young went down while trying to cover Beckham on the fateful fourth quarter play to add to the pain on Baltimore’s side.
Beckham’s touchdown will shift some attention away from a pass interference call on Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie that drastically altered the complexion of the game. Rodgers-Cromartie was covering Breshad Perriman deep down the field and got flagged, drawing howls from a Giants Stadium crowd and plenty of people watching at home that have seen plenty of plays with more contact go unpenalized on a weekly basis. That call would have been a major storyline had the Ravens held onto the lead they took a couple of plays later, but Beckham was able to provide a new story.
In addition to the injuries at cornerback, the Ravens didn’t have linebacker Terrell Suggs on the final drive of the game so the loss may wind up being an even more painful one if those injuries leave them shorthanded as they try to stop a three-game losing streak of their own. They’ll be back in the Meadowlands next Sunday to face the Jets.
The Giants will be off to London for a game against the Rams that will be followed by a bye week. Heading into that trip without the prospect of a five-game losing streak and with a red-hot Beckham should make for a happier week around the Giants than they’ve had in a while.