CLEVELAND — In what marked their fourth defeat in as many games, the Cleveland Browns lost to the Denver Broncos by a score of 24-19 on Sunday.
For each game during the 2019 season, we'll be tracking the star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.'s performance -- both on and off the field -- in a weekly piece titled "OBJ Watch."
As has been the case for much of his first season in Cleveland, Beckham put together a solid, albeit unspectacular, game against the Broncos, catching 5 passes for 87 yards. His longest catch of the contest came on a 39-yard gain during the Browns' final offensive drive, which ultimately resulted in a turnover over downs.
On Cleveland's final offensive play of the game -- a 4th-and-4 from Denver's 28-yard line, Beckham appeared to beat Broncos Chris Harris deep for a potential score. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, however, opted to unsuccessfully target Jarvis Landry, prompting Beckham to say "I can't get the ball to save my life," according to CBS' Jay Feely.
After failing to reach the end zone in Denver, Beckham has now been held scoreless in each of Cleveland's past six games. It marks the longest touchdown drought of the 2014 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year's six-year career, as he had never gone more than four games without a score during his five seasons with the New York Giants.
In what's become a near-weekly occurrence in Cleveland, Beckham made headlines for more than just his play on Sunday.
Just prior to halftime, Feely reported that the game's officials had told Beckham and Landry that they would have to change shoes if they were going to continue playing in the second half. While Nike had originally scheduled the 26-year-old Beckham to wear a pair of LeBron James-inspired cleats, he opted instead for a pair of white cleats with clown paint reminiscent of The Joker (Landry's cleats were orange and gold).
Both receivers ultimately complied, with Beckham switching into a black pair of his signature Nike Vapor Untouchable Pro 3 OBJ Uptempo Cleat. After the game, he explained to reporters that the Browns' decision to wear their all-brown Color Rush uniforms played a role in him not having the proper footwear prepared.
On his role in the team's offense (via cleveland.com):
“I’ve sacrificed. We’ve all sacrificed. Don’t let me make it about me. Everybody in this locker room sacrifices every single day. And I’ve given up a lot personally, habits, old things, and I just want to help. I just want to be the best that I can for this team. And that’s really it. That’s all I want to do.”
For the first time in nearly a month, the Browns will host a home game at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday when they face the Buffalo Bills.
Laying claim to a 6-2 record, the Bills have been one of the NFL's most surprising teams this season, thanks in large part to a passing defense that ranks third in the league. In all likelihood, Beckham will find himself matched up against Buffalo cornerback -- and fellow LSU product -- Tre'Davious White, who has totaled 5 pass defenses and 3 interceptions this season.