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Odell Beckham Jr. has waited eight years for his Big Game moment

OBJ will finally live out his Super Bowl dream in Los Angeles

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Following the Los Angeles Rams 20-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship, Head Coach Sean McVay was quick to compliment Odell Beckham Jr. for getting his career back on track in LA.

“He’s such a special player, so smart, so talented, so gifted. And he’s brought such a charisma and presence and really a swag to our team,” said McVay via CBS Sports after the game Sunday. “To be able to go over 100 (yards). He had some key and critical catches to be able to extend drives. The one down the left sideline where they were playing split safety, kind of reading the coverage. And the player didn’t get over the top, and he ends up adding on an extra 15 with the late hit.”

In eight regular season games with the Rams, Beckham caught 27 passes for 305 yards and five touchdowns. Through three playoff games against the Cardinals, Bucs and Niners, the LSU product has 19 catches for 236 yards and a touchdown along with a 40-yard pass completion in the Wild Card round. His stats and playoff performances proved LA was smart to snatch him up and now they’re reaping the benefits of a potential Super Bowl title.

Beckham also proved that he was smart to stay away from other NFC title contenders that were too cheap and prone to choking in the biggest moments (looking at you Green Bay). The veteran’s reward will be quite the hefty payday should Los Angeles beat the Bengals on February 13th.

The road to glory was never a smooth journey for OBJ. In his third season, Beckham earned his first taste of the playoffs with an 11-5 New York Giants team. For anyone who remembers, this initial taste wasn’t a very memorable experience as he and other NY pass catchers came under scrutiny for taking a boating trip to Miami days prior to their matchup with the Packers. The result was a 38-13 beatdown in which Beckham finished with four catches for only 28 yards, a likely dropped touchdown and a sucker punch to a defenseless wall at Lambeau Field. These were his comments following the disappointing showing:

The receiver then added:

“You have to grow and learn from this and find ways to not have this feeling again.” via Bleacher Report

In the aftermath of this loss, Beckham’s maturity and growth was placed under a microscope around the league. There were legitimate concerns over whether he would ever grow out of it. Then-Giants General Manager Jerry Reese echoed a similar sentiment and called on his superstar playmaker to take a step back to evaluate himself.

“I see a guy who needs to think about some of the things that he does. Everybody knows he’s a gifted player, but there’s some things that he’s done that he needs to look at himself in the mirror and be honest with himself about some of the things that he’s done. I think he’ll do that. We’ll help him with that, but he has to help himself and we believe he’ll do that. He’s a smart guy, but sometimes he doesn’t do smart things.” via Bleacher Report

Within two years, Beckham was traded to the Cleveland Browns, a team that hoped the aggressive move to get him would pay off with a Lombardi Trophy. Unless you lived under a rock around this time, the Brownies were all the rage but never lived up to the hype, going 6-10 in Odell’s first season. In 2020, Cleveland’s championship aspirations returned as they finished 11-5 and won their first playoff game since 1994. However, OBJ was unable to earn playoff redemption since he tore his ACL in week seven.

Eventually, OBJ’s tenure with the Browns soured once his dad stirred up controversy by rightfully pointing out that Baker Mayfield sucks and should probably switch from Progressive. I don’t exactly care that he was injured for most of this season, Baker is basically Jay Cutler with a weaker arm. Odell was released after appearing in six games in which he had just 17 catches for 232 yards with no touchdown catches. Beckham appears to finally have a home to call his own in Los Angeles, and hopes his brief stint with the Rams turns into something far greater.

“Everything about this place is right and it’s done right,” Beckham said postgame via CBS Sports. “And it’s just been an incredible opportunity. I’m just trying to make the most of it and here we are playing in the Super Bowl — one game away from our dreams.”

If OBJ is able to help the Rams win a week from Sunday, I think a Super Bowl title is the perfect way to bury all his previous disappointments. Based on his time with the Rams, I’d say he’s grown and learned from those past mistakes.