New York Giants: Evan Engram Comes To Defense Of Eli Manning

Oct 22, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) talks with tight end Evan Engram (88) after an incomplete pass in the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Eli Manning might be the most controversial subject for the New York Giants going into the 2019 season, with a number of takes from all corners of the fanbase about what the team should do about the quarterback situation. There’s some that say that Manning cam still do it, others that think the Giants need to make a move immediately, an yet others who believe the team should think about the future while keeping Manning on board for now.

It’s safe to say that tight end Evan Engram, a player that’s expected to have good chemistry with Manning on the field if the team’s results are going to improve this year, is in the pro-Manning camp when it comes to opinions about the situation.

“[Fans and the media] just see Eli [Manning] make a bad read or Eli getting sacked. They don’t see that maybe there was a missed block here or a dropped ball there or a wrong route,” said Engram, while talking to NFL Network. “One person’s success is a lot of times based off the man next to him. A lot of people don’t see that; they just see where their eyes are taking them.”

There is truth to this point. It can be hard to analyze performances in the heat of the moment, while a game is still going. But on the other hand, one could argue that statistics are a more solid method of judging performances, and the numbers for Manning could be better.

Still, Engram has a point that the game isn’t won or lost by one player.

“Eli picks up every blitz. He knows who’s coming. We hold protection meetings. He still can throw the ball and drive the ball down the field and give us opportunities to go up and make plays. So, 100 percent, he still has it,” Engram responded when asked about if Eli can still run the offense.

At 38 years old, Manning’s age is a concern, but both players and the front office have come out saying that Manning is still capable of making the needed throws. While these figures are expected to support Manning rather than making a stir, it is worth considering that Manning’s play style has never been the most physically intensive one when compared to other quarterbacks, in the first place.

Engram himself is expected to be one of the targets for Manning this season, but will have an uphill climb after suffering injury last season and splitting more time with Rhett Ellison than anyone predicted during the preseason. Engram had a hard time getting back into things and for awhile many wondered if Engram was eventually going to end up traded.

That didn’t happen, and it looks like Engram will have another chance to prove himself in 2019, following a sophomore slump season that had three touchdowns rather than 2017’s six.