The Cleveland Browns have a good reason to try to beat the New York Giants, and it goes beyond just the playoff picture, according to quarterback Baker Mayfield.
That reason: Former Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. is now a member of the Browns.
“This one would mean a ton to him,” Mayfield told reporters earlier this week. “Not necessarily in a revenge way, but whenever you play a team that you are familiar with — I had the same thing in college going back and playing Texas Tech — it means a lot to you. We are going to play for him because he is one of our guys so we need to do that.”
Beckham is out for the year after tearing his ACL in Cincinnati earlier this season. The Browns acquired him from the Giants in the summer of 2019.
Of course, the Browns shouldn’t need extra inspiration to win. At 9-4, they are in the driver’s seat for the AFC playoff picture. Another victory will all but guarantee them a spot.
And OBJ isn’t even the only one “familiar” with the opposition here. Former Browns QB Colt McCoy could also be taking snaps for the Giants, and Freddie Kitchens, the Browns’ coach last season, is now the tight ends coach for the Giants. Kitchens will be serving as Giants offensive coordinator this week, filling in for Jason Garrett, who’s out sick.