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Odell Beckham Jr.: Giants-Steelers referees were “horrible”

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Does OBJ have a point?

New York Giants v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The New York Giants came up small in Pittsburgh Sunday but depending on who tells the story, the referees certainly didn’t help their cause. That was Odell Beckham Jr.’s narrative after Big Blue’s 24-14 loss to the Steelers and most fans would agree.

The idea that defenders would need extra help covering OBJ isn’t exactly breaking new ground, but the Steelers seemed to take a few liberties against him without being penalized. Beckham unleashed on Terry McAulay and the Week 13 officiating crew after the game.

"I don’t really think we should have this crew anymore with the past history and everything that’s gone on," Beckham said in remarks reported by a variety of media sources.

The history he’s referring to is his much publicized matchup with Josh Norman last season. McAulay and company officiated that game between the Giants and Carolina Panthers as well.

Beckham caught 10 passes for 100 yards on a day where Eli Manning targeted him more than usual, but only drew one flag. And that came during what was essentially garbage-time. He appeared to be held or disrupted at least a handful of times during Sunday’s game. OBJ wanted to make it clear, however, that he wasn’t blaming the refs for the Giants’ letdown against the Steelers.

The officials missed at least one more egregious hold early in the game. A series after calling Ereck Flowers for a hold in the end zone that resulted in a safety, Olivier Vernon was held by Steelers tackle Alejandro Villanueva as he closed in on Ben Roethlisberger. No flag was thrown and Pittsburgh cashed in with a 37-yard reception by tight end Ladarius Green. They ended that drive with a Randy Bullock field goal to take a 5-0 lead.

There did appear to be a tense moment between Beckham and McAulay early in the game, when OBJ went over to argue for a flag and McAulay pointed a finger in his face during their conversation. While we can’t speculate on what was said exactly, it didn’t look like they were arranging a Christmas grab-bag. Beckham has done a much better job controlling his emotions in recent weeks but his reputation, fairly or not, certainly precedes him.

Regardless, the Giants lost this game because they didn’t make plays. A few calls could’ve helped but the officials had nothing to do with a Manning red-zone interception or three failed fourth-down conversions.