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Odell Beckham Jr. 'Feels the Love' in Ravens Debut 

WR Odell Beckham Jr.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr. knew his Ravens' debut would be emotional, so he savored the special moments. 

Beckham shed a tear during the playing of the National Anthem.

When he ran out of the tunnel for pre-game introductions, he did the "Squirrel Dance" as a nod to Ravens legend Ray Lewis.

After making his first catch in a Ravens uniform, Beckham was clearly pumped up and reacted that way, letting his emotions show.

Beckham deeply appreciates having an opportunity to relaunch his career with the Ravens, after sitting out the entire 2022 season recovering from a torn ACL. He missed it all – the football, the competition, the chance to perform as one of the NFL's great entertainers. 

Now, Beckham has his health back and he clearly has the Ravens Flock on his side. The crowd at M&T Bank Stadium reacted to everything he did and chanted his name, and he appreciated being back on center stage in front of fans who had been longing to see him play wearing a purple jersey. 

"It felt amazing. I felt the love, and that's what I want to give back to this place," Beckham said. "I want to give my everything.  

"I'm going to play like it's my last – like this is my last route I can run, my last pass I could catch. I want to give that effort to this place – this organization. So, it's truly special to be able to go out there and win, and I'm happy."

Beckham had a relatively quiet game by his standards – two catches for 37 yards. However, he drew two pass interference penalties and attention from Houston's defense that helped Zay Flowers (nine catches, 78 yards) have a big day. 

Beckham's biggest play came in the fourth quarter, when he got behind Texans cornerback Shaquill Griffin for a 29-yard reception. The coverage by Griffin was tight, but Jackson put enough air under the ball to give Beckham time to make a perfect adjustment to his route. Beckham looked like a centerfielder tracking down a deep fly ball, and his perfect over-the-shoulder catch brought the crowd to its feet.

Becoming a father has given Beckham new perspective, and his 18-month-old son Zydn was at Sunday's game, watching his dad do his thing. Beckham is glad his son is old enough to be more excited for his father than he would've been last year. 

"You know, it's funny how God works. I [was] injured last year, and if I would have come back, my son [Zydn] would have only been five, six, seven months, [an age] when he's not really able to watch a football game," Beckham said.

"He's going on close to two years [old], so he really knows what's going on. He sees football out there, [and] he's like, 'Dada.' So, it was truly special to be able to see him before the game, get that love. And he's the reason that I keep going. He's the reason that I'm still doing it. Pampers cost a lot; toys cost a lot, so I've got to keep hustling, man."

Beckham expects to have better performances and believes the Ravens will be playing meaningful games in December, January, and hopefully into February. But the journey has started, and Beckham has cleared the emotional hurdle of playing his first game after being away so long. Now, he's ready for more. 

"We're going to go watch the film, and I don't think too many people are going to be happy," Beckham said. "There were a lot of little mistakes and a lot of things that in a bigger game another team might take advantage of. So, there are a lot of things we need to do. We'll get back to the drawing board. But it's still (nice) to be able to see the 'W' in an ugly win. There are a lot of things we can improve on. I'm excited about that."

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