|Giants TE Martellus Bennett really has nothing to complain about. He has 25 catches and three touchdown receptions in five games. His season career highs are 33 catches and 4 touchdowns. (US Presswire)|
Giants TE Martellus Bennett was targeted seven times in the 27-23 win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday. Seeing as he caught five of those passes for a career-high 79 yards, you’d expect that he’d be pleased with his performance -- particularly because he was coming off a one-catch game in Week 6.
But if you think you’ve got a handle on what Bennett thinks or what he’ll say, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention to the self-described "Black Unicorn."
“No, I didn't have a good game at all,” Bennett said, even going as far as to insist that he played better against the San Francisco 49ers on the previous Sunday.
Bennett was asked about his chemistry with quarterback Eli Manning -- something that’s seemingly improving -- but again, Bennett sees things differently.
“Yeah, I screwed him on a couple plays, but, I think I played pretty bad yesterday,” Bennett said.
Nothing made sense. Bennett has been contributing more than at any time in his career and he’s still learning to play in Kevin Gilbride’s offense. The numbers he’s putting up now should be thrilling for him. Before coming to New York, in four seasons with the Cowboys, Bennett recorded four touchdowns. He already has three for the Giants, and ranks second on the team in catches with 25 behind leader Victor Cruz.
Bennett reminded everyone that this isn’t fantasy football and a tight end is more than just yards and receptions, but as accurate as that statement is, it still doesn’t explain how he “screwed” Manning.
Thankfully, Manning may have shed some light on the situation.
When asked if his third-quarter interception -- a mistake that could have potentially led to a Giants loss -- was intended for Bennett or Cruz, Manning said it was the former.
“They kind of fooled me on the coverage,” Manning said of the Redskins. “I thought it was going to be two-man and the corner came off and I think Martellus saw it and so he slowed down to try to stop in the little hole right there and I didn’t see the corner come off and he made a good play.”
The pick was caught by Redskins CB Josh Wilson with about five minutes remaining in the third quarter and could have possibly been prevented had Bennett made more of an effort for the ball.
Coughlin didn’t get into specifics, but he didn’t try and stop Bennett’s pity party, either.
“I would say it’s good of him to be hard on himself,” Coughlin said. “I know he can be a better blocker. I think there’s some things in the pass game that he could’ve done better.”
“The decision probably will be made this week as to whether or not he’ll be able to practice or not,” Coughlin said. “I’m not going to say right now. I think they need another day in the training room just to give us a full assessment.”
Beckum tore his ACL in February’s Super Bowl and has been working his way back ever since. He said he’s capable of playing, but admitted it was a coach’s decision.
The Giants already have rookie TE Adrien Robinson , who is rarely used, on the roster. But since Robinson is a fourth-round pick, the team might be reluctant to cut him to make room for Beckum.
They have two more weeks to open Beckum’s three-week window. If the Giants do take Beckum off PUP, they’d have 21 days to determine if they want to bring him back on the 53-man roster.
Any injury news? The Giants didn’t have any new injuries to report on Monday (Coughlin said everyone was “sore”), but WR Hakeem Nicks (foot/knee) didn’t suffer a setback.
“I think he gets a little bit better each week,” Coughlin said. “I think he’s mentally better, but I don’t know that he’s always physically able to do the things he really wants to do or we want him to do. He seemed to come out of it okay.”
Nicks had five catches Sunday, although he was targeted 10 times.
The NFC East is back: Coughlin coached the Jacksonville Jaguars, but says he’s never felt any rivalries like the ones he’s faced in the NFC East.
“The fact that these teams have been around for so long, playing each other for so long, has just built up tremendous tradition,” Coughlin said.
He said the new Giants players are starting to understand the rivalries with teams such as the Redskins, Eagles and Cowboys.