Sunday’s game against the Washington Football Team was a microcosm of Evan Engram’s NFL career so far.
NY Giants tight end Evan Engram did some great things in Sunday’s win over the Washington Football Team, including a beautiful touchdown catch that put his team up 20-3 in the first half.
It looked like it was going to be an impressive day for Engram and the offense as a whole, but then the second half was a different story.
Engram cost the Giants dearly on two separate occasions. The first, a costly drop on a perfectly thrown ball by Daniel Jones that would’ve gone for a first down and more. The second, an offensive pass interference call that caused a consecutive Giants’ drive to stall.
Both plays helped take his team out of field goal range, leading to punts for a team starved for offense in the second half.
This past weekend’s game is just another example of an extremely uneven performance by Engram, something that fans have unfortunately come accustomed to.
Coaches, teammates and fans alike have been waiting for Engram to put it all together for over three seasons. After the trade deadline came and went without Engram being dealt, you have to wonder how much longer he has before his time in New York runs out.
That tells you how high the Giants’ are on him, but how long can they continue to believe so strongly in a tight end who’s been a subject to Jekyll and Hyde performances each week.
It’s been the same story since Engram has come into the league – once he puts it all together, he’ll be unstoppable. But what’s the breaking point? When is enough, enough?
If the Giant’s defense doesn’t come through twice with two interceptions of Washington’s quarterback, Alex Smith, we would be looking at those two plays as the ones that cost the Giants a victory against the only team that they seem to be able to beat.
After the drop that cost his team the game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Engram should be thanking Jabrill Peppers and Logan Ryan for saving the game.
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Giants’ offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett, clearly likes Engram a lot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tight end run the end around as much as he has this season, but when does the risk outweigh the reward of feeding him the ball?
Plain and simple, the Giants need more consistency on offense. Daniel Jones just played his first game of the year where he didn’t turn over the ball, and he looked more calculated than ever leading the offense. He needs to be able to rely on his playmakers, like Engram, especially when he delivers a perfect throw that hits him square in the hands.
Similar to his quarterback, the second half of the season is huge for Engram. For the future of the Giants, and his individual future as a player, he needs to prove he can be the tight end who you can rely on to make plays, like the gorgeous, diving touchdown catch he had in the first half, more often than not.
Around the league, there are still general managers who do believe in Engram’s ability. As GMEN HQ’s Matt Lombardo reported, “Teams always look at the full body of work,” the GM told GMenHQ, on the condition of anonymity as he is not permitted to speak about players on other teams. “One drop or big play won’t make or break Evan’s trade value.”
Giants’ general manager, Dave Gettleman, said “you don’t quit on talent” while speaking on former Giants’ receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., in early 2018.
Those comments now resonate far more with Engram’s situation than they did for Beckham Jr., as he’s received countless opportunities to showcase his talent in blue. Gettleman gave Beckham Jr., arguably the most talented receiver in the league, one season before he unceremoniously traded him to the Cleveland Browns.
The thing about opportunities is that eventually, they do run out. Engram has seven more of them to show that he’s the playmaker the front office and coaches think he is, and not the untrustworthy draft bust that some fans have called him.
The name of the game for Engram is consistency, and the truth is, he may never find it. If he can’t clean up his play real soon, he definitely won’t find it as a member of the Giants.
Yes, Dave Gettleman, you don’t quit on talent – but everyone reaches their breaking point eventually.