EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - There have not been a lot of positives for the New York Giants this season. The exception is rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
Week in, week out, Beckham has become an offensive catalyst with one-handed catches, key plays and touchdowns.
Beckham added to his impressive collection of highlights by catching three touchdown passes and coming within one reception of tying the team's single-game record in a 24-13 win over Washington that might have gone another way had the Redskins not lost a touchdown on the final play of the first half on a video review.
"This guy fuels the entire team, fuels the entire stadium," Giants defensive captain Antrel Rolle said of Beckham. "He's an exciting guy to watch. He's a hell of a player. He goes out there and makes plays and plays beyond the Xs and Os."
Beckham had 12 receptions for 143 yards, with touchdowns covering 10, 35 and 6 yards. He has a team-high nine touchdowns and his 972 yards receiving are a team record for a rookie, beating Jeremy Shockey's 894.
"He's always upbeat walking around and has that energy," said Eli Manning, who completed 23 of 34 passes for 250 yards, targeting Beckham 15 times. "It's exciting when the ball gets in his hands."
After missing the first four games with a hamstring injury, Beckham has 71 catches, including 61 in his last seven games.
"The way we've played the last couple of games gives us a better feel for how we're going to play. For me, it's making the most of my opportunities," Beckham said.
The win was the second straight for the Giants (5-9) after seven consecutive losses.
The Redskins (3-11) simply found a new way to lose. They blew a touchdown and command of the game on a fumble by Robert Griffin III as time expired at the end of the first half.
Griffin scrambled for an apparent 8-yard touchdown and a 17-7 lead, diving over the pylon, and then running on to the field and spiking the ball with emphasis.
But a video review by referee Jeff Triplette showed that Griffin lost control of the ball diving over the pylon and the play was ruled a touchback. The lead stayed at 10-7.
"We shouldn't have let that play alter the game for us. Ultimately, it did," Griffin said. "It's a touchdown. That's how we all felt, everybody in the locker room, coaches included. My understanding is, if the ball passes the plane and you have control of the ball, it's a touchdown in every game that I've ever seen. They decided that it wasn't today."
The call incensed veteran receiver Santana Moss so much that he stormed after the officials and was ejected.
Triplette said Moss was ejected for inappropriate language directed first at him and then at field judge Alex Kemp.
Some things learned from the Giants' second win over Washington this season:
SACK ATTACK: Since losing to Dallas on Nov. 23 in large part because they could not get a pass rush late against Tony Romo, the Giants have recorded 22 sacks in the last three games. They had seven against Washington, with Jason Pierre-Paul and Johnathan Hankins getting 2 1/2 apiece. Pierre-Paul has 6 1/2 in the last three games.
GRIFFIN IN THE MIX: Take away the fumble and Griffin played very well after Colt McCoy aggravated a neck injury on the Redskins' opening series. He was 17 of 28 for 236 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He also had five rushes for 46 yards. "I know it's not been a fun year," said Griffin, who recently lost his starting job. "We've had a lot of turmoil, a lot of things going on, but at the end of the day, you have to get out there, suit up, and when your number is called, be ready to play."
GIANTS COVERAGE: While the Giants defence only gave up 13 points, there are times it still looks lost. Washington had 10 plays of 17 yards or more, including at least five to receivers who were left wide open. Running back Chris Thompson was uncovered on a 9-yard TD pass from Griffin.
NO RUN: The Redskins' run defence was outstanding, forcing Manning to go to Beckham again and again. New York was limited to 49 yards on 22 carries — a 2.2 yard average. Making things worse for the Giants, Rashad Jennings reinjured an ankle and had one carry.
BECKHAM NOT PERFECT: Beckham made a foolish play trying to field a Tress Way punt in the closing seconds. After chasing his teammates away from the ball, he tried to pick it up, didn't handle it and Washington recovered at the Giants 29. "I was being lackadaisical," he said. "Too relaxed. I went and apologized to the special teams coach because that is just not acceptable."
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