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Eli tries to downplay Beckham-Norman rematch

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The first Giants-Redskins matchup this year, which takes place on Sept. 25 this year at MetLife Stadium, will absolutely be about Josh Norman and Odell Beckham.

Let's hear what Eli Manning has to say about the matter.

"It's not going to be a battle between Odell and Josh," Manning said Sunday, via Newsday. "We're not going to make that a point. It's about winning the football game, doing our job and doing it well. We'll game plan for him just like all the other corners, but we have to be sure not to make it a bigger deal so it doesn't escalate into something that's not about football."

Good luck.

Manning might be removed enough from the situation to downplay what happened on the field last year, but there is no way Norman or Beckham forgot about the Week 15 matchup that left the Giants' star wide receiver suspended for one game and Norman fined. The incident represented a top-down failure in game-management, from the coaches who refused to pull their players to the referees who could not keep the wrestling match under control.

The two weeks leading up to the matchup will be stuffed full of feature television interviews, endless highlight clips and countless questions about a truly jarring moment from a year ago.

Perhaps Norman's experience will be different with Washington. It wasn't just the cornerback who got on Beckham's nerves during a testy pre-game period, and maybe the Redskins won't consider this part of their fight and let it go. Manning will do his part on the Giants' sideline, but can we realistically expect something like this to just fade away?

"I think he'll be answering questions about it," Manning said. "Coach (Ben) McAdoo and the receiver coach will all be in his ear a little bit. I don't think he needs too many people. It's my job to make sure he's ready to go, he's confident and he can go out there and play well."

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