NFL Teams
Jordan Raanan, ESPN Staff Writer 5d

Odell Beckham Jr.: Giants are in 'must-win' mode for rest of season

New York Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Odell Beckham Jr. is dreaming big. His goal for the New York Giants in the second half of the season is to win out.

"Win eight games," Beckham said Friday. "Get in the playoffs. Giants been there before -- 9-7 got to the playoffs -- and I think they did pretty good. So that is the goal.

"It's not an easy task, but that is the goal. Win every game and do anything I can to help that."

The Giants (1-7) are coming off their bye week. They play the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.

Beckham knows the Giants must play better. It begins, in his estimation, with performing better in the red zone and scoring more points. They're 27th in the NFL, averaging 18.8 points per game.

But he believes the turnaround can happen.

"You heard Kevin Garnett when he won [an NBA championship]: 'Anything is possible,'" Beckham said. "It's not impossible to win eight games. It wasn't impossible to lose seven. So anything can happen. Honestly. But the main focus is just this one game. Treat this game like it's your last game of the season.

"We want to go out with a win. Let's say you win that game, all right, now you focus on the next one. This is the last game. Now you have to win it. Everything is a must-win for us. We want to win, obviously. That is going to be the goal going forward is to win."

The Giants are in last place in the NFC East and tied for the worst record in the NFL. It would be considered a major upset if they turned it around. They are a combined 4-20 over the past two seasons.

Beckham sees the road to recovery.

"Just keep working," he said. "It's easy to sit up here and say we want to win eight games. Knowing that it is very tough to do, we have to pull it all together now."

Beckham has 61 catches for 785 yards and 2 touchdowns. He envisions an even better second half of the season.

The Pro Bowl receiver believes he has always gotten stronger as the season progressed. Of his 35 touchdowns from 2014 to 2016, 23 came during the second half of the season. He didn't play the second half of the 2017 season because of a broken ankle.

Beckham feels he's still in better shape this year after rehabbing vigorously late last year and into the offseason.

"I feel like as the season goes along, I get faster -- or maybe I stay the same and other people are slowing down," Beckham said. "Either way it goes, I feel almost an advantage towards the end of the season."

Beckham, who turned 26 on Monday, has positive vibes for the next game. He remembers having athletic success on or near his birthday throughout his life. He said he scored five touchdowns in a game in high school. He scored five goals in a soccer game in early November when he was 5. He scored a pair of touchdowns in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015.

"Around my birthday time, I don't know what it is, the universal energy [or] what it is, I just play better, do better. It's still Scorpio season. It's time to turn up."

The Giants are going to need it if they have any chance of fulfilling Beckham's prophecy to win out this season. It's beyond a long shot.

That doesn't stop Beckham from believing.

"I know my mentality is not going to be to quit," he said. "... I'm trying to go hard every play, any chance that I get. That's just always how I'm going to be. I know we're not in a very good situation, but you just try to make the most out of that."

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