ST. LOUIS -- The Rams had cut the lead back down to seven points with more than 16 minutes left in the game, so the New York Giants' offense had to keep humming. Odell Beckham Jr. had been knocked around like a rag doll all day by a Rams team that was trying to send some kind of stupid tough-guy message, so he needed a big play to put his stamp on the game. In a flash, both things happened.
The Giants got the ball at their own 20 to start the drive with 1:37 left in the third quarter. Rookie running back Andre Williams ran for no gain on first down. On second down, Eli Manning fired one quickly to Beckham in the flat, but two defenders were launching themselves irresponsibly at Beckham, and the rookie wide receiver wisely backed out of the play rather than get cut in half.
The Rams did themselves harm on the play, as cornerback E.J. Gaines was injured and had to be carted off the field and checked for a concussion. On the next play, a third-and-10 from the Giants' 20, a coverage bust cost the Rams the play of the game.
Beckham faked a corner route, and the corner bit on it, and Beckham raced past the safety and Manning hit him in stride for an electrifying 80-yard touchdown pass.
"You're catching it and you're running free," Beckham said with a smile. "There's no better feeling than that."
The touchdown gave the Giants a 34-20 lead and they would go on to win 37-27. It was Beckham's second touchdown catch of the game and his 11th in just 11 games this year. He finished the game with eight catches for 148 yards, broke Jeremy Shockey's Giants rookie record of 74 catches in a season and went over 1,000 receiving yards for the year with one game to go.