The game between the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers wasn't exactly lacking in fireworks or drama. Most notably, there was a Super Bowl-caliber matchup taking place every time the Giants were on offense: The battle between wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and cornerback Josh Norman.
Norman didn't shadow Beckham on every play, but he has been one of the best corners in the league this season and Beckham doesn't really need introduction as the guy who makes ridiculous circus catches on a weekly basis.
Sunday's game featured several skirmishes in the heated battle, and it certainly got ugly. Here's a breakdown of the action!
1. Beckham beats Norman ... then suffers a rare drop ... and another
Early in the first quarter, Beckham beat Norman with a couple yards on him. It's a for-sure touchdown if Beckham makes the grab. He usually has the most dependable hands in the NFL -- that was just his third drop of the season, according to ESPN.
Then, Beckham had Norman beat for a first down, but the pass, which was a little low, was dropped again:
2. The Norman/Beckham matchup gets chippy
It didn't take long for a fight to break out. With the game still in the first quarter, Beckham seemed to slow down on his route while Norman was tracking the ball, the two collided and a fight ensued.
3. Finnegan gets in on the fun
Beckham pretty clearly got frustrated. There's no better player in the NFL to take your frustrations out on than Cortland Finnegan, who was flagged on the play.
Late in the game, Beckham was covered by Finnegan again and he made him pay with a huge gain to set the Giants up in position to tie the game.
4. Jared Allen thinks this is all hilarious
Beckham finally got flagged for unnecessary roughness for going to the head of Norman. Jared Allen could not be more pleased.
5. Beckham catchless in the first half
Beckham was targeted three times in the first half, and Eli Manning couldn't hook up with him once, the first time in his career that Beckham was held without a catch in the opening half.
6. The fighting intensifies
Beckham caught his first pass of the game in the second half: A 3-yard catch that he fumbled out of bounds after Norman tackled him. Beckham appeared to grab Norman's leg while getting up, and on an ensuing fourth down, Beckham caught another pass for a first down. That led to another personal foul penalty for the receiver, and another fight between the teams after Beckham took a helmet-to-helmet shot at Norman.
7. TIE GAME!
Beckham probably should have been ejected for his antics earlier in the game, but he wasn't and the Giants managed to tie the game ... when Beckham beat Norman for a touchdown in the final two minutes of the game. Wow!
8. The end .... ?
The Panthers were able to drive down the field and kick a game-winning field goal, winning 38-35. Beckham finished with six catches for 76 yards and a touchdown, while Norman had three tackles.
But the Giants are only one game back in the NFC East after Sunday's game, and could find a spot in the playoffs, potentially against the Panthers at some point. We also likely haven't heard the last of what went on Sunday, as the NFL will probably be handing out some kind of punishment for the fights and penalties called on both players, especially Beckham.
* * *
SB Nation presents: Beckham's creative celebration after scoring TD two weeks ago