Beckham fuels Giants to win over Dolphins
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — With the score tied in the fourth quarter, Odell Beckham Jr. somehow slipped 5 yards behind the secondary.
That turned out to be the winning margin for the New York Giants.
Beckham's 84-yard touchdown reception put the Giants ahead to stay with 11 minutes to go, and they forged a three-way tie atop the NFC East by beating the Miami Dolphins 31-24 on Monday night.
New York's Eli Manning went 27 for 31 for 337 yards and four scores. His passer rating of 151.5 was his highest since 2009, and his 87-percent completion percentage was a career high.
The Giants (6-7) broke a three-game losing streak and are tied with the Redskins and Eagles for the lead in their woeful division.
"It's a must-win, a playoff game for us," Beckham said. "They're all playoff games."
The Dolphins (5-8) were mathematically eliminated from the playoff race, extending their postseason drought to a franchise-record seven consecutive years.
"Obviously this is not where we want to be," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said, "but here we are."
In celebration of the franchise's 50th season, the Dolphins introduced their 50 greatest players at halftime. The not-so-great 2015 Dolphins topped 20 points for the first time since October, but couldn't keep up with Beckham.
He had seven catches for 166 yards and the game's final two scores. The 100-yard game was his sixth in a row, a Giants record.
"They got it to a star player, and he made plays for them," Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said.
Beckham missed one series when he went to the locker room due to cramps in both calves but didn't let that slow him down. And with the score 24-all, he took advantage of broken coverage to score the go-ahead touchdown.
Cornerback Jamar Taylor and seldom-used safety Shamiel Gary were the closest defenders, but Manning hit Beckham in stride at midfield and he sprinted to the end zone for his 12th TD this year.
The Giants plotted the play at the team hotel before the game.
"We got the coverage we wanted," Manning said. "We thought it would be a big play, but I didn't think he would be that open."
Beckham outplayed his close friend and former LSU teammate, Miami's Jarvis Landry, who made 11 catches for 99 yards but was flagged for a costly personal foul penalty with his team trailing in the fourth quarter.
Beckham made a 45-yard reception to set up a touchdown and had a 6-yard scoring catch. The latter pass was initially ruled incomplete because Beckham was out of bounds, but the decision was overturned by a replay review that made the score 24-all.
His final catch, a diving grab on third down at midfield, sealed the victory with less than two minutes left.
"Obviously his performance is something we all expect," Landry said. "He's just continuing to do what he does."