Atlanta Falcons: How to stop Odell Beckham in Week 2


To beat the New York Giants, the Atlanta Falcons’ defense will need to play as well as it did in the first half against the Eagles. When trying to slow down a talented Giants offense, you must first be able to take care of Odell Beckham Jr.

The Cowboys limited Beckham to just five catches for 44 yards, and a lot of their success came by playing two deep safeties, and this proved to be effective throughout the game. In the image below, Beckham is lined up on the left side and is pressed by cornerback Morris Claiborne, and you’ll notice the safety is placed almost by the numbers on Beckham’s side.

Credit: NFL Game Pass

The Cowboys lined up with two deep safeties often, and this made life difficult for Beckham. On that particular play, the Giants ran the football with Rashad Jennings. On the next example, it was a pass play and Eli Manning was looking in Beckham’s direction.

Credit: NFL Game Pass

Here, Beckham is lined up in the slot being covered by linebacker Kyle Wilber. Safety J.J. Wilcox (circled far right) provides extra cover. What’s interesting here is that as soon as inside linebacker Anthony Hitchens sees that it’s a pass play, he immediately drops into coverage on Beckham’s side. The result?

Credit: NFL Game Pass

There are four Cowboys to just two Giants receivers and there isn’t an opening for Manning to make the throw. Beckham is well covered by Wilber and there is extra support from Wilcox and Hitchens. Manning was forced into his final read and threw it short to tight end Daniel Fells. Fells was able to get the first down, but the defense had prevented a big play to Beckham. Here’s another example.

Credit: NFL Game Pass

The Giants are third-and-2 and line up in a bunch formation. Cornerback Brandon Carr is lined up opposite Beckham and has safety help from Wilcox. Beckham, in motion, is followed by Carr to the right which you can see above, with Wilcox adjusting slightly to the movement.

Credit: NFL Game Pass

With good coverage and safety help, Beckham is covered as Manning goes to throw. He instead misses Preston Parker on a drag route, who was also well covered, to force the Giants to kick a field goal. The Cowboys did an excellent job of keeping Beckham quiet throughout the game by keeping two deep safeties. When they had a single-high, the focus was on the second-year receiver. You can bet the Falcons will have a plan to see the same results.

Being able to frustrate Beckham with Desmond Trufant and potential safety help, while able to get pressure on Manning with Vic Beasley, the Falcons can force the two-time Super Bowl MVP to look elsewhere and make his day that bit more difficult.

Next: Falcons vs Giants: Tale of the tape

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