Should the New York Giants try Evan Engram at WR?

New York Giants, Evan Engram

After his porous Week 1, New York Giants fans are already banging the drum for the team to cut ties with Evan Engram. While the criticism of the 26-year-old is expected and understandable given his play, the Giants would be silly to get rid of him after one very underwhelming performance in his first game back since Week 9 of last season.

However, if Engram’s play Monday night becomes a regular occurrence and more than just a matter of him needing to shake off some rust, it might make sense for the Giants to explore different ways they could utilize his services before they consider moving on from him.

What do I mean by that exactly? Moving him to wide receiver.

Now, before I make a case for the switch, I should make it known that I’m confident Engram will improve and find his footing as the season progresses. He’s too talented, and Jason Garrett’s offense is going to maximize his potential as a tight end. There are ways to scheme around his horrid blocking, and the mismatch he represents at his current position is extremely valuable.

According to reports, Engram generated a lot of hype during training camp and looked very explosive. He quickly caught the eye of head coach Joe Judge, and Judge has not been shy about praising what he’s seen from Engram. Here’s Judge practically gushing about Engram back in August:

“He’s very in-tune, he’s very intelligent, he’s very deliberate about how he works and what he’s focusing on within each period,” Judge said. “I turn his tape on and see him flying around. He’s a fun guy to watch play because he has a lot of ability, but he loves the game, too.”

It’s clear that Judge and the Giants are excited about Engram and the value he brings. They are looking to get him involved a lot, and I doubt one bad game is going to change that. But on the flip side, moving Engram to wide receiver could make sense for multiple reasons. For one, as I mentioned earlier, Engram has never been a good blocker, and that proved to be the case still Monday night.

He’s been trying, so you have to give him credit for that, and he has shown that he is not afraid to get his hands dirty, but throughout training camp, that has been a department where he’s struggled and has just continuously gotten beat my his man. It was no different against Pittsburgh, as there were multiple occurrences where Engram just whiffed completely. The defender lined up against him was able to get past him with ease, causing trouble for Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley. He was so bad that out of the 64 tight ends that Pro Football Focus graded from Week One, Engram was dead last, being last in run-blocking and second-to-last in pass-blocking.

While there’s always a chance he could improve as a blocker, the likelihood at this point is that he’ll probably always be below average in that area. The Giants can’t keep having him as a blocker, it’s only going to hurt them. Having Engram play most of his snaps on the outside will require him to block a lot less, and when he does, he’ll be facing corners or safeties who he should fare better against than the linebackers and edge rushers he mainly ends up having to block now.

The Giants also have another young tight end, Kaden Smith, who is a very good blocker, so having him replace Engram as the top tight end on the roster would allow Smith do most of the blocking, and that, in turn, would be a better situation for the offense. Levine Toilolo and Eric Tomlinson, the other tight ends on the roster, are also much more capable as blockers than Engram and would be better options as well.

In this scenario, Engram would be able to focus on catching passes, where he’s thrived over his career, and Smith would be able to not only bring a more consistent blocking presence at the line of scrimmage but become more of a focal point in the offense. With his increase in snaps, Smith can build upon the potential he showed as a pass-catcher himself last season.

Additionally, another reason for Engram to make the switch is his height. Standing at 6’3”, Engram has excellent size for the wide receiver position, and the Giants have been needing a big-bodied receiver. Engram has always been a glorified wide receiver, and although he might not get as many mismatches against linebackers as he does currently, he is a good enough route runner with great speed to be able to succeed and make plays on the outside.

Again, I want to reiterate that I only see this as a possible opportunity if Engram continues to struggle in the coming weeks. I still believe he’ll get his act together and improve, and the Giants will definitely still be looking to get him the ball as much as they can. However, this could pose an interesting compromise to trading him or letting him go.

What do you think, Giants fans?

New York Jets Record Predictions for the 2020 season

New York Jets, Mekhi Becton

We are hours away from New York Jets football. In honor of the season, I have decided to give my official game by game predictions for the Jets season.  I will mark each game with a win or a loss prediction and then, at the end, give my final thoughts on how I predict they finish for the 2020-21 NFL Season.

Week 1: vs. Bills

Then Jets kick off the season in Orchard Park. With Josh Allen gaining new toys this offseason, and Sam Darnold gaining coal, I expect Allen to have success early. Especially after locking down Tre White, this Bills team is riding high, so I’ll say they probably ride out with a W.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 2: vs. 49ers

The 49ers have one of the best defensive lines in all of football. You can rebuild any offensive line, but it will be hard for this new one to stop the wrecking crew that San Fran brings. I don’t expect a big offensive game, so the defensive game favors the 49ers immensely.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 3: at Colts

The Colts have had an overrated offseason. The defense will take a big step this year, but the offense is not where it needs to be. Pittman and Campbell will have success at some point, but not with Rivers throwing a medicine ball-style pass time and time again. I think the Jets have the edge here.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week 4: vs. Broncos

A few weeks ago, I would have predicted Denver outright. Now, Von Miller is out, and Courtland Sutton is struggling to stay healthy. Without two of their biggest weapons on both sides of the ball, Denver may have a tough day. 

PREDICTION: WIN

Week 5: vs. Cardinals

The Arizona offense is next level. Kingsbury is an underrated leader as a coach, and with all that talent, I expect them to steamroll the Jets.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 6: at Chargers

The Chargers will toll in mediocrity this year. Tyrod Taylor is nearly a place holder, and it’s going to take a little for Herbert to be up to par. Tyrod will play well, but I’m going with Gang Green.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week 7: vs. Bills

The Bills sweep the Jets in the season series. The Bills may have some hiccups, but particularly against the Fins and Jets, I expect them to play really good football.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 8: at Chiefs

Do I even need to explain this one? 

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 9: vs. Patriots

Cam Newton has not played too well against Gregg Williams led defenses in the past, and I don’t expect that to let up any time soon. The Jets win a close one against the Pats.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week 10: at Dolphins

Coming off a surprise win, I expect the juices to be flowing, and if the Jets can’t at least win one of the two games, they will be in for a tough AFC East record.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week 11: Bye

Week 12: vs. Dolphins

Coming off a bye, expect Too to debut if he isn’t already. This should be the game a good coach wins, and that’s where Flores outshines Gase.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 13: vs. Raiders

The Raiders are a year out from contention. This next offseason needs to be a big one for both the Jets and Vegas to take steps forward. For now, though, the Jets are just a smidge better.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week 14: at Seahawks

The Hawks are my team to watch in the Super Bowl. I expect wild card type noise from Seattle and a deep run, the likes of which the Jets can’t keep up with. 

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 15: at Rams

The Rams offense is mediocre, but their defense is top-notch. With two of the best in the game, the Rams defense will give Sam nightmares all day long.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 16: vs. Browns

Odell likes some weird things, but those won’t help his relationship with Baker. Baker needs to take a big jump, or else the Browns could move on. I think that the Jets’ new brass is devoted to Sam, unlike the Browns to Baker, so I’ll roll with Gang Green to win this one.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week 17: at Patriots

I firmly expect the Pats to be in the playoffs by this point, so this should be a light day for the Pats, which could skew the outcome of this contest.

PREDICTION: WIN

Final record: 8-8

Middle of the road seasons never hurt anyone except the Jets fanbase. This would be significant growth, though, and set the Jets up nicely for a 2021 run at the playoffs.

Yankees’ Jordan Montgomery shows clear frustration being pulled from game, Boone shoves finger in his chest

New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery

New York Yankees’ pitcher Jordan Montgomery had just finished a solid outing before manager Aaron Boone seemed to be distressed when pulling him from the game. In 5.2 innings pitched, Montogomery allowed just one run (unearned) on three hits. He fanned nine batters and issued just one walk.

Montgomery was only at 72 pitches when Boone came out to pull him from the game. It looked like Montgomery said something to Boone as he was walking up to the mound and then Boone put his pointer finger on Monty’s chest.

This could have either been a disagreement between Montgomery and Boone on why he’s being pulled from the game, or Boone could have been telling him to keep his head up despite the low pitch count.

Prior to this game, Montgomery was holding a 2-2 record and a 5.72 ERA through seven games started. In his last start, he only lasted 3.2 innings against the Blue Jays and the start prior, he lasted just .2 innings where he allowed four runs on five hits to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Fortunately, the Yankees pulled out the win in the end. Hot-hitting Luke Voit hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield which knocked in DJ LeMahieu for the winning run. The Yankees extended their winning streak to four games in a row and improved their record to 24-21. The Yanks are currently sitting in third place for the AL East, chasing the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays. The Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox are sitting at the bottom of the standings.

Yankees’ Gio Urshela back on field today, Boone expects Urshela to be activated Tuesday

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

New York Yankees’ third basemen Gio Urshela has been on the 10-day injured list since September 4 with a bone spur in his right elbow. Manager Aaron Boone suggested on Thursday that he expected Urshela to be activated on Tuesday which means we could possibly see him back in the lineup by late next week.

After finding out that Urshela had no other issues beyond the bone spur, the club believes that this will just be a short IL stint and Urshela will be back to playing games once the ten days are up.

The 28-year-old is a big part of the Yankees’ lineup and especially the defense. He’s currently batting .272 on the year with six home runs and 23 runs batted in.

Miguel Andujar has been taking Urshela’s role in the lineup and DJ LeMahieu has been covering third base in the meantime.

Other key players that are struggling to stay off the injured list are Aaron Judge (calf), Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring), James Paxton (forearm), and Jonathan Loaisiga (undisclosed). Right-handed pitcher Luis Severino and reliever Tommy Kahnle are both out for the remainder of the year dealing with their own injuries. Gary Sanchez

The Yanks are no stranger to injuries, having set an MLB record the season prior for most players ever put on the injured list. It was especially important this season to avoid this same issue, however, the Yankees have found themselves in the same boat.

The Yankees will begin a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday where it’ll also be a doubleheader. Gerrit Cole is expected to pitch the first game.

Yankees win last game of series vs. Blue Jays, Garcia picks up first MLB win, post game quotes

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

The New York Yankees snapped their five-game losing streak tonight with a big win against the Toronto Blue Jays. Deivi Garcia threw really well for the team as he also picked up his first career MLB win.

“I wanted to attack them, that’s what the plan was,” Garcia said following his outing. “They hit a couple of balls there very well and for me, it was to stay firm out there and remain calm.”

Garcia went the distance for the Yanks, throwing seven complete innings allowing two runs on five hits. He ended his night with 95 pitches, fanning six batters during the outing.

Manager Aaron Boone was pleased with the way the team played tonight. “A lot of good things (tonight),” Boone said following the game. “Deivi going out and actually getting us deep into the game was huge. There were more good at-bats, we were able to cash in obviously tonight. A few homers to kinda get us going and some really good add on runs there to kinda put the game away.”

Boone spoke on Garcia’s outing some more saying, “He’s (Garcia) just got such good feel out there and mound presence. The ability as a young pitcher to just kinda add and subtract with his fastball, getting creative and going a little more with his slider that third time through the order. He just demonstrated a really good feel for pitching.”

Clint Frazier talked about the team’s “vibe” following the game, “It’s really loud right now (in the clubhouse). I think they’re actually about to turn the music down because it’s so loud, but everyone is excited because we wanted this moment the last couple days and to get it tonight, we’re definitely celebrating.”

Gleyber Torres had a big game for the Yanks tonight being responsible for four of the seven runs the Yankees scored. He went 2-5 with a solo home run, a double that knocked in Hicks and Voit, then a fielders choice that scored Hicks again.

“The most important thing for us is to be focused, be together, and work hard to win,” Torres said. “We had a really good game tonight.”

The Yankees will try to carry this positivity into tomorrow where they’ll begin a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.

New York Yankees make big change ahead of Wednesday’s game, activate youth agenda

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

The New York Yankees have recalled right-handed pitcher Deivi Garcia back up from the alternate site to start in Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays. After dropping the first two games of a three-game set to the Blue Jays and losing five in a row, the team is going to need a big turn around beginning immediately.

The Yanks are currently relying on Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ, and Jordan Montgomery for a four-man rotation. With Luis Severino and Domingo German gone for this year, the team has to rely on younger guys too. Several players, including Garcia, have made their MLB debuts this season due to the absence of some key players.

Garcia has started two games this season, holding a 0-1 record and a 3.38 ERA. His most recent start which was on September 4, Garcia lasted 4.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits and one home run. His start prior to that game, Garcia pitched really well allowing no earned runs over six innings pitched while fanning six batters.

It’s obvious that the Yankee rotation hasn’t gotten the job done recently. Garcia has had a lot come with his name from scouting reports over the last several years, so the Yankees looking to turn things around this young talent isn’t a surprise.

After starting the season 16-6 and seeming like they wouldn’t lose a series all year, the New York Yankees have lost 12 out of their 17 games and have fallen to 21-21. This series against the Blue Jays and the one prior to the Baltimore Orioles really hurt them as they fell deep in the standings.

Tonight’s first pitch in Buffalo will be at 6:37 PM.

Things could be shaking behind scenes for Yankees as Brian Cashman travels to Buffalo to check in

The one thing that couldn’t happen during this shortened season was to fall into a void of a long losing streak. The New York Yankees have figured out a way to do more than that. After starting the season with a strong 16-6 record, the Yankees have lost their last 12 out of 17 and are now 21-21.

After dropping the first two games of a three-game set to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees have put themselves at real danger of falling out of playoff contention if they continue the way they are playing. They’re currently sitting in third place of the AL East, three games behind the Jays, and just one game up on the Baltimore Orioles.

You know the club has hit a rough patch when fans have to check the score of the Orioles games each night.

General manager Brian Cashman made a rare trip up to Buffalo to watch the team take on the Blue Jays. Unfortunately, so far he hasn’t seen the best from his team.

Manager Aaron Boone has been on the hot seat as of recently because of the team’s drought. “I know we are better than that, but we have not played to our capabilities,” Boone said following Tuesday night’s loss against the Blue Jays. “Obviously the last couple weeks have been a rough stretch to get us to that point. So, we still have time here to turn this thing around and I’m confident we will.”

The Yankees are having major trouble with staying consistent. Every night it’s either they have a great offense and no pitching support, or vise versa. Some blame can be pointed to the team’s injuries, however the bullpen (except for the absence of Tommy Kahnle) is at full strength. The reality is, these high-leverage guys have not gotten the job done. The same goes for the lineup. The absence of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gio Urshela, are all major hits on the offense. However, DJ LeMahieu, Luke Voit, Gary Sanchez, and Gleyber Torres are all still in there.

The Yanks are going to need to turn things around immediately if they want a shot at a good seeding in the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Rays and the Blue Jays seem to not be slowing down anytime soon, so a quick turnaround for the Yanks is crucial.

New York Yankees lose a tight one to Blue Jays, drop second game of series

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

The New York Yankees have now fallen to .500 after losing the second game of a three-game series to the Toronto Blue Jays. Despite having a great outing by J.A. Happ, the Yankees offense was flat all game. The Yanks have now lost five games in a row, losing 12 out of their last 17 games.

There wasn’t much scoring done tonight on either side. The Blue Jays scored their only two runs with a home run from Jonathan Davis which Statcast estimated it was 411 feet.

The Yankees scored their lone run on a Mike Tauchman sacrifice fly to left field which knocked in Luke Voit.

J.A. Happ had a great outing tonight, going the distance pitching 6.1 innings with ten strikeouts, only allowing the two runs on the Davis home run. Besides the one mistake to Davis, he had his stuff all night and was getting a ton of swing-and-misses. It’s unfortunate that Happ picked up the loss tonight especially with how powerful the Yankee lineup should be.

Right-hander Taijuan Walker started the game for the Blue Jays where he went four complete innings pitched, only allowing two hits while striking out three. The Jays relied mostly on their bullpen this game using four guys to finish off the remaining five innings.

Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone talked about the team being .500, “I know we are better than that, but we have not played to our capabilities. Obviously the last couple weeks have been a rough stretch to get us to that point. So, we still have time here to turn this thing around and I’m confident we will.”

The New York Yankees’ record drops to 21-21 after starting the season 16-6. They are sitting in third place for the AL East, three games behind the Blue Jays, and only one game up on the Baltimore Orioles. The Blue Jays advance to a 24-18 record on the season.

New York Yankees: Injury update on Judge, Stanton

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge

New York Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone provided some insight on sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton and their possible timetables from their injuries.

Giancarlo Stanton has been doing baseball activities and started running up to about 80 percent, Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media reported. According to Boone, “Giancarlo has had a really good several days. Think he ran some bases (Friday). Kind of half-speed running. He’s up to about 80 percent running. He’s been doing a lot of baseball activities as far as hitting off the high-velocity machine, throwing. So he’s probably, possibly a little head of Judgey.”

Stanton has been on the injured list since August 9th with an injured left hamstring.

Aaron Judge was placed back on the Injured List with a calf injury on August 28th. Recently, he’s begun ramping up baseball activities and appears to be progressing well. Boone spoke on this saying, “He’s had a couple of good days and started to ramp up a little bit. I think Monday we’ll start the real progression as far as a lot of baseball activities, more aggressive with some of the running and the buildup.”

Both Stanton and Judge seem to be progressing well which is some of the better news the New York Yankees have had recently. After dropping three out of four games to the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees have hit a low spot of the season. They need to figure things out soon and having these two sluggers back in the lineup will obviously be huge for the team. Fingers crossed both Stanton and Judge will be back soon and healthy.

New York Yankees get crushed by Blue Jays, drop first game of series

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

What should have been a close game between two good slugging teams, the Toronto Blue Jays capitalized on a ten-run inning to beat the New York Yankees to take game one of a three-game series.

The Yankees took an early lead against left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu when Luke Voit and Aaron Hicks hit back-to-back bombs in the first inning. Hicks’ homer went 401 feet and Voit’s went 387 feet.

This lead would be short-lived for the Yankees as in the bottom of the first inning, first basemen Rowdy Tellez would double to right field which knocked in Cavan Biggio. The following inning, Santiago Espinal singled to center field which knocked in Travis Shaw to tie the game.

The Yankees would win the next three innings, with a Miguel Andujar home run, a Clint Frazier double which would score two, and a walk by Aaron Hicks that would knock in a run.

It would all go downhill from there for the Yankees.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Blue Jays would score 10 runs to take a 12-6 lead. Catcher Danny Jansen would top off the inning with a grand slam that pretty much shut the door.

A Yankee rally was unsuccessful except for a lone run scored by Miguel Andujar in the top of the ninth inning.

The New York Yankees would drop to 21-20 and sit at third place in the AL East standings. The Toronto Blue Jays improve their record to 23-18 and sit 2.5 games ahead of the Yanks at second place for the AL East.

There weren’t many positive things for the Bombers in this game except to see that Luke Voit is still swinging it well and Clarke Schmidt looked good on the mound. The Yankees are going to need to turn things around soon if they want to get out of the hole they’re currently in. If the playoffs started today, they would have the eight seed and would have to play the Tampa Bay Rays in the first round.