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Originally published November 9, 2014 at 6:30 PM | Page modified November 9, 2014 at 9:04 PM

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Giants rookie Odell Beckham Jr. burns Seahawks, then gives them a hand

Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. tipped a pass into the hands of Earl Thomas on a key interception that helped turn a close game into a Seahawks rout.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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As rain fell and the game hung in the balance, Eli Manning’s third-quarter pass sailed high into the gray sky toward the south end zone at CenturyLink Field.

New York Giants rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr. knew he needed to make a play. He leaped over Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and spotted free safety Earl Thomas III closing fast.

Beckham got a hand on the ball, tipping it up as he crashed to the turf. Thomas made the catch for his first interception of the season.

“The window of opportunity closed quickly, but that’s NFL football,” Beckham said. “A second too late or a second too early, you never know what’s going to happen. He gave me a chance to make a play, and I put that on me. I should have made the play or at least it shouldn’t have been an interception. I don’t put that on Eli at all. Those are opportunities that you live for.”

Thomas sprinted out of the end zone for a 47-yard return to the Seattle 42.

“We’re always talking about running to the ball, fighting for every inch,” Thomas said. “That’s what we do.”

Beckham has earned a reputation as a playmaker with a handful of spectacular one-handed grabs in his short NFL career. He doesn’t second-guess his decision to attempt to make the catch, but wishes he could have a do-over on the play that helped the Seahawks turn a 17-17 tie into a 38-17 rout Sunday.

“If I had a second chance I would have tried to stay up,” Beckham said.

The Giants (3-6) suffered their fourth straight defeat, and for the second straight week Beckham was the bright spot in a disastrous performance.

A hamstring injury forced him to miss the start of the season, and the No. 12 overall draft pick from Louisiana State made his NFL debut in Week 5. His role has rapidly increased since Victor Cruz tore his patellar tendon Oct. 12. In the previous four games, Beckham’s snap count had risen from 30 to 77, making him Manning’s favorite target.

Against the Seahawks, he finished with seven receptions for 108 yards after catching eight for 156 yards in a 40-24 loss last week to Indianapolis.

The Seahawks shut down New York’s rushing game, which totaled just 54 yards, but had trouble early stopping Beckham and Manning, who finished with 283 yards on 29-of-44 passing.

“We didn’t look and say we’re going to throw it at Sherman,” Beckham said. “(It was) whoever was on that side and whatever play we call. Whether it was (Byron) Maxwell or Tharold (Simon), it didn’t matter who it was. When you go up against a great defense like that, you can’t just sit back and not try to attack. ... I think we did a great job at that, but didn’t execute as well in the second half.”

After Manning’s interception — his first in the past five games — the Giants managed just 34 yards while Seattle finished on a 21-0 run. The crowd obviously became a factor.

“They get a play like that and they’re supposed to be loud,” Beckham said. “It’s momentum. You’re in Seattle, and they have the crowd behind them. The whole atmosphere was kind of surreal. To see the rain coming down and the Hawks Nest and the home of the 12th Man. They kind of got that momentum, and they took it and ran with it.”

After the game, Beckham made a beeline to Sherman, and they chatted for a few minutes.

“He said, ‘You’re the real deal,’ ” Beckham said. “He was telling me some of the things that were going on and things he was seeing. He said, ‘You’re going to be a great player, just keep working.’ ”

Turnaround artists
The Seahawks found themselves trailing 14-7 early in the second quarter, and the Giants appeared to be gaining momentum. But Seattle outscored New York 31-3 the rest of the game, including 24-0 in the second half. Here’s how the teams fared in key categories early and late:
CategoryFirst 16:22Rest of game
Seahawks points731
Giants points143
Seahawks net yards111399
Giants net yards164160
Seahawks time of possession6:5726:15
Giants time of possession9:2517:23

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com



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