EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had another incredible afternoon for the New York Giants on Sunday in a 24-13 victory over the Washington Redskins. He caught 12 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns. He zoomed past Jeremy Shockey to set the franchise's rookie record for receiving yards. Beckham has 972 yards with three games to play, breaking Shockey's previous mark of 2002.
Beckham now has 71 catches, three short of Shockey's franchise record for rookies of 74. He would have had a fourth touchdown catch, this one for 30 yards, if not for a holding penalty on Justin Pugh.
Yet, the rookie was bumming after the game about the things he did not do.
He was ruminating about a ball he dropped that could have been a touchdown. He was mad at himself for not getting both feet down in bounds on a third-down incompletion in the first quarter that forced the Giants to punt. Mostly, he was apologetic for fumbling a punt at the end of the game when all he wanted to do was fair catch it so the offense could end the game in victory formation.
"I want to apologize to the special teams coach (Tom Quinn)," Beckham said. "There' no better feeling than the offense running on the field in victory formation and you take a knee to win the game."
Beckham said it was "an honor" to break the rookie receiving record held by Shockey, but during his post-game press conference he was more focused on those plays he did not make.
"There's a lot of good that was in the game, and there's still so much to learn from," Beckham said. "Each and every day you find something to get better at.
"Earlier on in the game, I was frustrated. Just being a young player and trying to keep your head in the game, there were plays, I think it was a third down earlier in the game and I didn’t get both feet in bounds. The throw in the corner of the end zone I feel that I should have caught. There was another one I feel that I should have caught. It doesn’t matter what it is. Whenever I get a chance to make a play, I feel that it should be made.
Head coach Tom Coughlin was, of course, asked about Beckham after the game.
"The young man is having outstanding success. When we are getting the ball to him, he's doing very well with it. He's a very good football player. He has the ability to go the distance, I think, any time he gets it - whether as a punt returner or as an offensive player. He can run the football; he can throw the football, so we've tried to create a lot of situations. He does have the talent to exploit the defense in a lot of different ways," Coughlin said. "'m cheering for him every time he gets the ball. He does the best he can and can excite everybody in the building."
Despite missing four games to begin this season, Beckham could end up having the best statistical season out of the five wide receivers who were drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He has to be considered a front-runner for Rookie of the Year at this point.
"I set the expectations as high as possible, I hate settling for anything less," Beckham said.
Beckham is meeting those expectations by having what is likely the most spectacular season a Giants' rookie has ever had. More impressively, he is doing it with humility.