New York Giants: Evan Engram Must Fix Biggest Issue

There’s no such thing as an easy rivalry matchup. Just ask the Cincinatti Bengals who barely survived a comeback from the Baltimore Ravens. It will be no different for the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys.

The offense for the Giants must come prepared and ready to take down an opponent that will remain breathing until the final seconds. Tight end Evan Enrgam will play a massive role in the strategy – blocking, catching, and playing decoy will be his role. The issue is that Engram has struggled immensely to fix his biggest inadequacy.

In last week’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Engram dropped two passes, an occurrence that has been regular throughout his short career. He must find a way to absolve the frequency of these mishaps, especially with the strength of the Giants’ schedule.

What are Engram’s aspirations for the season ahead, and what does he think of HC Pat Shurmur?

“I have those written up in the apartment. I’m gonna make sure, tell Mom not to take any pictures of those (smile). I just want to just be a great tight end for my team, great player for my team, great leader for my team. Whether that’s pushing guys when we’re down 14, whether it’s making that big touchdown that kind of gets momentum going, or whether it’s just being on the sideline cheering the defense on and just being a great teammate. I have some personal goals that are to myself and that are for me to go get.

In regard to Shurmur:

“I definitely don’t see Coach Shurmur as a guy that settles to be mediocre, and I don’t see this team being that way as well. It was definitely evident that he was in a mode to get here and compete and start winning games and get back to where this franchise had been.”

Falling to 0-2 on the season is simply not an option, and if the luck swings in that direction, we might be looking at another long season. Beating Dallas at home would give the Giants the confidence to push forward towards Houston and then New Orleans. The strength of schedule is tremendous, but you’d be surprised at what a bit of confidence can do for a team.

 

New York Giants: That Ereck Flowers Play Is Worse Than You Think

Imagine this. The New York Giants come out for what should be a fairly routine drive against the Jacksonville Jaguars. They’re in a heavy formation that should have good pass protection, and Eli Manning drops back to look for a target downfield.

Odell Beckham Jr. is losing his defender and getting open with a slant route on the weak side of the formation, but Manning is pressured by a pass rusher coming from the edge of the formation and has to throw the ball high. When Beckham goes up to catch the ball, he’s hit by a Jaguars linebacker before he can get set and start running. He has to leave the game with an injury, before even playing a full quarter of regular season football this season.

Fortunately, that’s not what happened. Beckham caught the ball without problem, even though it did end up over his head and forced him to jump for it. The rest of the play, though, was very real and the Giants were penalized seven yards for it. The reason? After being completely beat on the right side of the line, Ereck Flowers resorted to going for a trip that had absolutely no subtlety and would be nearly impossible to sneak past the referee.

The Giants paid the price and would replay first down with 17 yards to go. The gain from the pass? Eliminated because of the penalty. Not only that, but the play could have been worse. The Beckham injury is only a hypothetical scenario, but it shows how much a team’s blocking can affect the game. The high throw was a direct consequence of Flowers being beat so quickly and easily. If something bad happens because of a rushed throw, the blocking is partly to blame.

Oh, and if you maybe thought that Flowers would bounce back later in the drive, it didn’t happen. A couple of plays later, Manning managed to make up for the loss of yards by throwing deep to Evan Engram in what should have been a highlight reel play. Instead, it didn’t count for anything because Flowers once again went to an illegal technique and held his opponent to allow Manning to roll out.

Instead of a first down, the Giants were faced with a 2nd and 20. Maybe second string tackle Chad Wheeler isn’t the perfect player. He did lose in the battle for the starting job at right tackle after all, meaning the coaches saw something in Flowers that they didn’t see in him. But that was before the actual games were played.

The Giants might find it worth it to look into playing time for Wheeler. He might not be a good right tackle, compared to others in the NFL. He might hardly manage to be an average right tackle. But at the moment, the Giants don’t need good. They just need someone who isn’t a risk to take yards away from the team with bad penalties and endanger the health of the skill position players with criminally bad blocking.

Giants: Olivier Vernon Returns To Practice, Jenkins Leaves From It

The return of outside linebacker Olivier Vernon will be a huge boost to the New York Giants‘ defense, especially with tough offensive matchups on the horizon. The defense’s best pass-rusher returned to practice on a very limited basis on Thursday, riding the bike and sitting alongside a trainer.

It’s not expected that Vernon makes a return this week against the Dallas Cowboys in their home opener, but I can imagine he’s marked week 3 as a realistic time-table for his injury. High ankle-sprains are extremely sensitive and prone to re-injury, which makes this much more serious. In 2017, Vernon suffered a similar injury and was forced back onto the field far too soon which limited his effectiveness throughout the season.

Expect the Giants, especially head coach Pat Shurmur, to keep him sidelined until he’s 100%. Giving him another week to heal would be the right move.

What happened at practice today for the New York Giants?

An emotional Janoris Jenkins left practice today to tend to a family matter, separate from the charges on his brother. According to other reporters, Jenkins was visibly upset and his situation was kept under wraps.

His availability shouldn’t questioned for Sunday’s game, but we will keep an eye on him to see if it’s something that could affect his play.

A new addition to the injury report this week was wide receiver Sterling Shepard. His ailment doesn’t seem to be too serious, as it’s reported that he slept wrong. He was a full go on Thursday and will be healthy come game-time.