EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Odell Beckham Jr. says more than a couple of people scoffed last week when he said the New York Giants could win their final eight games and make the playoffs.
The NFL’s highest-paid receiver knew it was a long shot when he made the statement and little has changed since the Giants beat the San Francisco 49ers 27-23 on Monday night. It’s just seven games now.
Still, Beckham was not backing off the idea Thursday before the Giants (2-7) practiced for Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6).
“I don’t know what makes me not believe it,” Beckham said. “That’s just the goal. Same thing I said before the season, the goal is to win a Super Bowl. It’s always going to win a Super Bowl. If you’re just here to have fun or whatever else, I don’t think you should be here. The goal is to win every game. I’m trying to win. If we play 16, I’m trying to win 16. Win the four in the playoffs, and win the Super Bowl. You never want to lose.
“My mentality is going to be win these last seven games, no matter who believes it or what’s said, or anything like that,” Beckham added. “That’s going to be my goal.”
Coach Pat Shurmur doesn’t mind his players talking about running the table.
“I think he is just giving you his long-range approach,” Shurmur said. “If you ask him, he will tell you he is putting all his energy into playing Tampa. That’s the challenge. We have to stay in the moment. We have to keep the noise out, and that’s the same whether you win or lose a game.”
The Giants have done a lot of losing the past 1½ seasons. They have won five of 25 games and not won two straight since December 2016.
Still, the upcoming schedule is not horrible. The Giants don’t have games against any of the NFL’s dominant teams: the Rams, Chiefs, Saints, Chargers, Patriots or Steelers.
Of the seven games left, Chicago (6-3), Washington (6-3) and Tennessee (5-4) have winning records. Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Dallas are 4-5, although the Eagles and Cowboys beat the Giants this season.
So there is a chance, slim as it may be.
“I don’t think it’s crazy to think that way at all,” rookie running back Saquon Barkley said. “I think that’s what we all feel in this locker room, we all feel on this team. We’re more than capable of doing that, but we’re not naïve to the fact that it’s a long season and you can’t really think, oh, we got to win eight games, because that’s not the mindset. That’s what we want to do, but the mindset is taking care of every single day and every single game, one day at a time.”
NOTES: Running back Jonathan Stewart, who has been on injured reserve since Sept. 28 with a foot injury, has been designated for return/returned to practice. The Giants have until Dec. 6 to decide to either activate him or keep him on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. He is not eligible to return to the active roster until Nov. 26.