The Rams have advanced to the NFC Championship for many reasons. One of those reasons is receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.
With Robert Woods suffering a torn ACL the same day Beckham signed, OBJ has become the top complement to Cooper Kupp in the Rams’ passing game. On Sunday against the Buccaneers, Beckham had six catches for 69 yards. Against the Cardinals, Beckham had four catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.
The Buccaneers didn’t want him. Coach Bruce Arians made that clear when Beckham became available in November, with a typically flippant, swizzle-stick remark.
“We’ve already got AB, we don’t need OBJ,” Arians said in November. “Too many letters.”
On Sunday, the Bucs had not enough production from receivers not named Mike Evans. Sure, Chris Godwin was healthy when OBJ became available. Also, Antonio Brown had not yet been accused of using a fake vaccination card.
Still, finding a way to lure OBJ to TB would have kept Beckham from joining a competitor and thriving. The Rams, when they went all in to get Beckham, didn’t need Beckham. But they got him, and they kept him from the Buccaneers. Or, perhaps more importantly, from the Packers.
Look at the stats from Saturday night. The Packers took a 7-0 lead and couldn’t deliver the death blow of a two-score margin. Beyond the nine catches for 90 yards generated by Davante Adams, the team’s other receivers and all tight ends combined for a cumulative one catch for six yards.
How much better would the Packers have been offensively if they’d done more than give Beckham an offer they knew he wouldn’t accept? What if the Packers had gone all in to get Beckham?
Who knows what would have been. But here’s what is. The Bucs are done. The Packers are done. And the Rams are very well positioned to get to the Super Bowl.