The storylines for Sunday night’s bout between the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns are endless. Even with Odell Beckham’s return to MetLife scrapped due to a season-ending knee injury, there’s still a slew of players with revenge on their minds. Plenty of whom were pieces acquired in the OBJ trade; from Browns pass-rusher Olivier Vernon to Giants guard Kevin Zeitler to safety Jabrill Peppers. Hell, even Big Blue’s assistant coach Freddie Kitchens and backup quarterback Colt McCoy have their ties to Cleveland.
While those names will likely serve as talking points for most of NBC’s broadcast throughout the game, a far less-heralded name in B.J. Goodson also falls under the same category and could have just as much, if not more of an effect on Week 15’s outcome than anyone previously mentioned.
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B.J. Goodson Returns to New York
A fourth-round pick by the Giants back in 2016, Goodson played sparingly as a rookie behind the likes of Devon Kennard, Jonathan Casillas, Kelvin Sheppard and Keenan Robinson. However, fast forward to 2017 and Goodson was thrust into the team’s starting lineup, even being mentored by the likes of fan-favorite and Super Bowl Champion, Antonio Pierce. The former Clemson standout would go on to make an immediate impact that season, posting a career-high 18 combined tackles in his first career start, a divisional victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
However, that performance would prove to be one of the brightest moments in an otherwise underwhelming three-year tenure in New York. Goodson would battle injuries and underwhelming play for the remainder of his stint with the Giants before ultimately being traded to the Green Bay Packers along with an exchange of seventh-round picks ahead of 2019.
Goodson would go on to carve out a sizeable role in Green Bay, starting nine games in his lone season with the Packers. However, it wasn’t until his arrival in Cleveland this season that Goodson began to finally make his presence felt.
Through 13 games, the linebacker leads the Browns in tackles with 84. He’s also either tied or notched new career highs for interceptions (two), passes defended (six) and sacks (0.5) in a single season.
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Goodson on Sunday Night’s Game: ‘Cold Head, Hot Heart’
While Goodson admits to feeling a certain type of way towards the Giants for giving up on him, he is adamant that he will focus his strength on what he can control.
“Cold head, hot heart. That is not really my motive. My motive is to just make sure my guys’ mind is right going into this event and just giving us the best chance to come out with the victory,” Goodson told members of the media this week.
“At this time of the season, everyone is fighting. Every game or every next game is the biggest game, only because it is the next game. That is kind of how we look at it. We are just trying to go 1-0 this week.”
Goodson also took time to heap praise on his former team and their ability to scratch and claw themselves back into the playoff race.
“They fight. They fight. They are fighting to make the playoffs. They are a fighting bunch,” Goodson said. “Obviously from being there, I understand that and know a lot of that offensive personnel as far as who they are, but they are fighting for something, too.”
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