The New York Giants had a tough game in week one against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Evan Engram highlighted the evening with a terrible performance. Going into the 2020 season with heightened expectations coming off a foot injury that ended his 2019 campaign prematurely, he surely put up a dud in his comeback.
Having not played a game since the middle of last year, Engram was always going to have some rust. He dropped two passes, committing an offensive pass interference penalty, and failed to block even adequately in the run game. He was a liability in all facets, which could force the Giants to utilize Kaden Smith more frequently, moving forward.
Engramâ€™s stat-line on the evening was seven targets, two receptions, and nine total yards. He logged a 28.6% catch-rate on 94% of offensive snaps. Overall, his production does not reflect the action he enjoyed against the Steelers. However, I believe he will bounce back strong against the Chicago Bears.
Before going down in 2019, he had hauled in 467 yards worth of offense and three touchdowns. He was trending in the right direction and probably wouldâ€™ve had a career-year if not for his foot injury.
The New York Giants need their former first-round TE to find his sea legs:
Engram has never played a game against Chicago before, but shaking off the rust in week one should give him a better opportunity to re-establish himself on offense. A new scheme led by Jason Garrett will take time to grow in, but it is a tight end friendly system that should expand on his talents. Nonetheless, his run blocking was tumultuous and has been since his inception into the NFL. I donâ€™t expect that factor to improve much, and the Giants might want to consider splitting him out wide as a wide receiver more frequently.
It is a known fact that his value comes in the receiving game, and he showed the same Evan Engram burst we are used to. On an impressive hook route, he left the cornerback carrying his momentum forward while Evan was in perfect position to secure a first down. Subsequently, he dropped the football, and the Giants went on to third and long. Making those plays is a necessity in the NFL, and we know Engram can complete them.
This was Evan Engram's worst drop on Monday night, he runs a GREAT hook route right at the sticks and just drops it.
I really don't think that's a lasting issue, just jitters having not played in a real game since week 8 of last year.
Clean that up and he's back to normal. pic.twitter.com/kZKCScVCte
— Alex Wilson (@AlexWilsonESM) September 16, 2020