Whenever an offense faces a Jeff Fisher team, nastiness is the name of the game. New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. must understand this.
Throughout the illustrious history of the National Football League, only a few certainties have stood the test of time. Some of these certainties include Vince Lombardi running the power sweep when the money’s on the line, Joe Montana come through clutch, and Joe Namath partying before the biggest game of his career.
One more certainty should be included, one the New York Giants are particularly interested in for Week 7 that revolves around their opponent, the Los Angeles Rams. It’s the notion that every Jeff Fisher coached team plays dirty.
It’s no secret. Fisher — a man who once played in the league for four seasons with the Chicago Bears in the early 1980s — loves his defenses to stir things up. This reputation has lived on since his days with the Tennessee Titans. Players like Albert Haynesworth and Cortland Finnegan have made sure this label has lived on.
Look no further than 2014 for recent evidence.
During a Week 16 game in St. Louis, the Rams dealt with rookie stud Odell Beckham Jr. their way. The flavor of the year — who was coming off “The Catch” against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football a few weeks earlier — caught eight balls for 148 yards and two touchdowns against Fisher’s dirty defense.
Alec Ogletree was fully aware of the receiver’s rising star:
This is just another example of the Rams defense and how they love to mix it up, despite what Fisher doesn’t say (when asked about his team’s history with Beckham), via Alden Gonzalez of ESPN:
“We’re going to play between the snap and the whistle, and that’s it,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher told reporters. “… No, we’re not going there. Our guys are going to play hard and play fast, tackle, and have been instructed not to hurt the football team.”
This Sunday in London, OBJ must keep his head in check.
Admittedly, the roughness of this Rams defense is gone. There is no more Finnegan and friends. The personalities that provided Fisher the “dirty Rams” tag have slowly gone away. Even Janoris Jenkins, who had his own reputation while in St. Louis, is gone (OBJ’s teammate in New York in 2016).
But the fact of the matter that Beckham Jr. must keep his cool remains firm.
We’ve seen his meltdowns too many times to count. The very same positive effect his emotions can have on him when times are great is at the same level when skies are cloudy and everything looks gloomy.
Eli Manning will continue to take what the defense gives him (save for a few forced balls as of late). Fisher will look to capitalize on this and have his dirty Rams take the explosive playmaker out of the game.
Should Beckham Jr. not see early targets at Wembley Stadium on Sunday morning, he cannot let Fisher’s crew get to him. If he does, it can be a long day. If he keeps his cool, his Giants have an excellent chance of racking up the yardage against Fisher and the Rams.