New York Giants: Daniel Jones is not the problem

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants, once again, suffered a heart-breaking loss last night. The Giants fought valiantly on the road against Philadelphia but came up short to fall to 1-6 on the season. Meanwhile, the Eagles rise to the top of the division as the Giants fall off to the bottom.

The Giants were leading by 11 points last night with under five minutes left to play. The team had a quick meltdown that saw them blow their lead and lose the game 22-21.

It is easy to point fingers and play the blame game after losses like this. Often times, the quarterback gets the bulk of the blame when NFL teams lose close games. But for the Giants, the quarterback is not to blame this week. Daniel Jones is not the problem with the Giants. In fact, after last night, he looks like the solution.

Expanding the Offense

Daniel Jones is providing the Giants’ offense with a versatility that they have never had out of the quarterback position. New York spent the better part of the last twenty years scheming an offense around an immobile quarterback that could only make plays while standing in a clean pocket.

While Daniel Jones does his best work from a clean pocket, he can make plays happen elsewhere. The young quarterback has sneakily elite athleticism. Jones put his athletic ability on full display last night, ripping off an 80-yard run that put the Giants in scoring position.

That was the longest run by a quarterback in New York Giants history. That run was also longer than any rushing attempt by Saquon Barkley since 2018. Jones’s ability to make plays with his legs is special and allows the Giants to expand their offense and open up the playbook. Jones’s running ability should be treated as a real threat from now on and there should be far more designed quarterback-runs called on gamedays.

Coming Up In The Clutch

When the New York Giants needed their quarterback to mak a play last night, Daniel Jones delivered. Unofortunately, the same cannot be said for Jones’s teammates, which is ultimately why the Giants lost this game.

This season, we have seen Daniel Jones make the same mistake on multiple occasions. We have seen him put together long, 14+ play drives to get his team down in the red zone before throwing a heart-breaking interception. This happened in Week One against Pittsburgh, in Week Four against the Rams, and even in the Week Six win against Washington.

In Week Seven, the Giants put together one of those long drives to get in the red zone. This time, Daniel delivered, connecting  with Sterling Shepard on a touchdown pass to finish off a 15-play, 75-yard drivee.

So Daniel Jones passed one test; he proved he can put together long scoring drives. Check. But Jones was faced with a much more difficult and important test later in this game.

In the fourth quarter with a one possession lead with just over two minutes left in the game, the Giants are driving. Their running game is on point but stalls out. The Giants’ offense finds itself in a third and six, must-convert situation. Daniel Jones has to step up and make a play. Daniel Jones delivers with a perfect pass to Evan Engram down the left sideline.

Dropped. Evan Engram dropped it and the Giants had to punt the football. Philadelphia responds with a scoring drive and the Giants fall to 1-6.

This play changed the narrative of the entire game. If Evan Engram catches this football, fans are not talking about the upcoming “fire sale” at the trade deadline. Instead, fans would be talking about how their young, second-year quarterback marched into the belly of the beast and took down the Giants’ biggest division rival with one clutch play after another to thrust the Giants to the top of the NFC East.

Thursday night’s game should have been Daniel Jones’s coming of age. Not the reminder of the Giants’ impending doom. But if fans extract Daniel Jones’s performance from this game and analyze just the way their quarterback played, they might feel a lot more confident in the direction the team is heading. Daniel Jones had a breakout performance last night that will be forgotten due to the ineptitude of the rest of the New York Giants’ roster. The quarterback position is the lone bright spot, despite the contradictory narrative. Daniel Jones is not the problem. In fact, he just might be the solution.

New York Giants: Evan Engram’s drop problem has huge consequences in loss

New York Giants, Evan Engram

Anyone that’s been following the New York Giants over recent years is familiar with the problems around tight end Evan Engram. He hasn’t performed to the standard that’s been expected, he hasn’t been healthy enough to stay on the field much of the time, and he has trouble catching the ball. The last of those problems has stuck around since Engram’s rookie season but has never directly had as big of a consequence as it did in the recent loss to the Eagles.

That’s because in that loss, the Giants held the lead in the fourth quarter. All they had to do was hold onto that lead and let the clock run out, and Daniel Jones did his part in getting a key first down by finding Engram and making a good pass. But of course, Engram dropped the ball, literally, and the Eagles were able to stage a comeback which cost the Giants the game.

Engram drops a perfect pass

You can take a look at the pass for yourself and judge whether or not it’s a reasonable drop for Engram.

The consensus, however, seems to be that the fanbase is finally getting tired of the mistakes from a formerly promising prospect. During the past couple of years, Engram has been off the field more often than not due to injuries. Now that he is back on the field, his problem with dropping the ball has cost the team a game that they definitely should have won.

There’s calls for the Giants to finally trade Engram. But will that happen? Well, the organization had told other teams in 2019 that Engram was untouchable as a trade option. The Giants have been pretty committed to the Engram experiment. The main question now is, will this result shake their faith in a player that’s had many mistakes by now?

Could the Giants look to trade Evan Engram at the deadline?

New York Giants, Evan Engram

With every passing week, the New York Giants get a better understanding of what the future of the organization is going to look like. At 0-5, general manager Dave Gettleman is already on a short leash, and at this point, adding draft capital to bolster the team in 2021 might be the priority.

However, adding draft capital would indicate selling multiple players before the trade deadline on November 3. With a few more weeks left until that date, the Giants could begin shopping some of their more valuable players, especially after week six against the Washington football team. There are a number of athletes I could represent trade value for a big blue as they continue to rebuild the roster.

The first one that comes to mind is Evan Engram, who has been lackluster in 2020 after suffering a mid-foot sprain that required surgery in 2019.

So far, Engram has 18 receptions for 147 yards and zero touchdowns through the air. He did record an end-around score against the Dallas Cowboys, but he has been mostly ineffective in the passing game. Now, is that Engram’s fault, or is it offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett’s.

Engram stated last week that he has been running far more curls than working out of the seam in the new Giants’ offense.

Some might say Garrett isn’t utilizing Engram to his potential, and I would agree. The former Mississippi star tight end is best used in straight line motions and streaks. Getting him into space and running in a straight line is how he maximizes his potential, and we saw that last season, as Pat Shurmur used him routinely, a drag routes and seam routes up the middle.

Now, Engram has been doomed to a life of five-yard curls, stick routes, and underneath options. He is not being given the same luxury of moving downfield and stretching defenses.

Evan has only a 55 overall receiving grade and a 51 overall offensive grade. His pass blocking has been decent this year off the edge, but his run blocking has been borderline malpractice for a team that has committed to the run.

With that being said, I believe Engram is probably the Giants’ best bet at returning some value to their draft stock next year. Gettleman already traded away a conditional seventh-round pick to the Denver Broncos in exchange for Isaac Yiadom, who has already been benched at cornerback.

If the Giants can return a fourth-round pick for Engram’s services, it would be worth it. Considering the Dallas Cowboys landed Tyler Biadasz at center in that exact round, there is value to be had.

The Giants also drafted to Darnay Holmes, who is the future in the slot position at CB for the team.

At this point, with the state of the roster, selling Engram with one year left on his contract allows Big Blue to move forward with some salvation considering Garrett’s inability to use him.

New York Giants: With trade deadline three weeks away, who should be on the chopping block?

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants are sitting with a pitiful 0-5 record. According to Tankathon, if the season ended today, the Giants would own the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. With such a grim outlook ahead, New York is likely in need of a roster rebuild once again.

Three weeks from today, a highly-important day in the NFL will occur: the 2020 NFL Trade Deadline. The rumor mill is already starting to heat up with Jets running back Le’Veon Bell already being shopped around the league. New York was involved with the 2019 NFL Trade Deadline, making a trade to acquire Leonard Williams days before the deadline passed.

This begs the questions: will the New York Giants be active at this year’s trade deadline? Will they be buying, or more likely selling? If selling, who is on the chopping block?

Buying or Selling?

At 0-5, the New York Giants need to be selling, not buying. No 0-5 team has ever bounced back and made their way into the playoffs. The Giants’ season, unfortunately, is over. It is time to start looking towards the future.

The best way for an NFL team to plan for their future is to acquire draft capital; turn under-performing veteran players into young, high-potential players via the NFL Draft. The last thing the Giants need is to give up draft capital for veteran players. New York needs to rebuild this team and focus on their future, not remain in win-now mode.

Evan Engram

Giants tight end Evan Engram has not had the breakout 2020 campaign that many fans expected him to have. Engram is a talented player that has struggled with injuries throughout his career. In his most healthy season (2017), Evan played 15 games and totaled 64 receptions for 722 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Through the first five weeks of the 2020 NFL season, Engram has been targeted 32 times and totaled 18 receptions for 147 yards and 0 touchdowns. It has been a disappointing start to Engram’s fourth career season. With his contract expiring next year, the Giants need to decide whether or not Engram has a future on this team. With as much raw talent and athletic ability that he has, he would certainly have a trade market if the Giants decide to ship him out of New Jersey.

Dave Gettleman

General manager Dave Gettleman’s seat is flaming hot. Gettleman was nearly fired in the 2020 offseason but was kept around to prove his worth for one more season. Considering the Giants’ season is off to a historically bad start, it is reasonable to assume that Gettleman’s seat is hot, once again.

Last year, Gettleman made the controversial decision to trade for Leonard Williams ahead of the trade deadline. This left New York without a third-round pick and cost them the opportunity to secure more young talent. Gettleman cannot make a decision like this again. The Giants should not afford Gettleman the opportunity to trade for players this season. If he is not willing to sell assets, he should not be making any trades.

Golden Tate

After two years with the Giants, it seems like the writing is on the wall for wide receiver Golden Tate. Tate has struggled to make an impact in the Giants’ offense this year. The former “YAC King” has only averaged 2.6 yards after the catch per reception.

Teams around the NFL could find Tate to be a solid veteran option to line up in the slot. Tate has reliable hands, he has just struggled to separate and make plays in space. The New England Patriots were a potential landing spot for Golden Tate in free agency before he signed with New York. Maybe New England would be willing to give up a draft pick to improve Cam Newton’s weapons for the final stretch of the season.

New York Giants: Week three stock report, ups and downs

New York Giants, Blake Martinez

The New York Giants lost in a blowout fashion on Sunday to the San Francisco 49ers.

It was a game that many in the Giants fans would like to forget as nothing really went right for the team. The final score was 36-9, and much of the game was not even close. The 49ers were able to pick apart the team methodically.

Here’s how this defeat affected the stock of various people inside the Giants organization.

Stock up for the New York Giants

We will start with the very few who actually boosted their status on Sunday.

James Bradberry, CB

The newly signed cornerback once again proved why he is receiving cornerback one money. While he digressed slightly from his league-best week two performance (allowing a few receptions), Bradberry still was able to record three pass deflections and be a tough matchup outside. He is continuing to prove why he is one of the better cornerbacks in the league, and much of this is coming from little to no help from the rest of the secondary.

Blake Martinez, LB

Blake Martinez, another newly signed player, was once again active all over the field. He recorded nine tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and one sack. This makes him tied for sixth in the league with 30 total tackles, tied for fifth with five tackles for loss, and tied for 14th with two sacks. He has been another player who has received minimal help from his linebacker teammates but has continued to show out and demonstrate why the Giants signed him.

Logan Ryan, DB

While Logan Ryan played no-where near perfect on Sunday, he once again continued to improve and acclimate himself into this new defense. It is one that he has only had about four weeks to learn. However, he has quickly become one of the better players on this defense, and this showed in week three, where he recorded seven tackles, two pass deflections, and one QB hit.

Dalvin Tomlinson, DT

Dalvin Tomlinson was New York’s highest-graded player by Pro Football Focus in week three’s defeat. His five tackles, two tackles for loss, two QB hits, four QB pressures, and three run stops earned him a grade of 86.4. Tomlinson, now in his fourth year, has continued to develop his game. He is now an elite run stopper and also getting better with his pass-rush, which has lagged behind for some time.

Stock Down

This is heavy. 

There was a lot that went wrong on Sunday, so we might as well just dive right in.

Daniel Jones, QB

The number one player that will be receiving most of the blame is Daniel Jones. On Sunday, Daniel Jones suffered his twelfth loss in just fifteen starts. Jones also recorded his 35th and 36th turnover of his small career. This also marked the sixth turnover committed by Jones this season. Taking care of the ball has clearly been an issue for the sophomore quarterback, and if he is unable to solve this issue, his long-term career with the Giants could be in jeopardy.

Evan Engram, TE

A player that was involved in both of Daniel Jones’ turnovers was Evan Engram. He has constantly been off sync with Jones, and it has resulted in three turnovers so far this season. Engram will need to improve and do what the Giants hoped for him when they picked him in the first round. If not, he may be thrown to the waste side in another rebuild attempt that could happen this offseason.

Offensive Line

The entire offensive line is also a group that should take much of the burden for practically all the losses this season. The unit once again got no push in the run game (Giants’ running backs only rushed for 10 yards) and did not prosper in the passing game as well. Jones was sacked twice and pressured constantly. The pass blocking has been so bad that Daniel Jones has been pressured on over 40-percent of his dropbacks, third-highest in the league.

Darnay Holmes, CB

Moving on to the defensive side of the ball, rookie cornerback had the worst game of his season on Sunday against practically a practice squad offense. The UCLA product was constantly burnt and committed a costly third-and-22 penalty to give San Fran the first down. He proved on Sunday that he is not ready to be an NFL cornerback quite yet.

Devonte Downs, LB

Another player who showed that he should not be out on the field for more than a couple of plays was Devonte Downs. Due to a depleted linebacker core, Downs saw his second career start on Sunday. In this start, he was a constant liability in the run game and did no better in terms of pass coverage. The Giants hoped he could be the linebacker two for this season, but as of now, it is clear that Downs does not have what it takes.

Joe Judge, Head Coach

The final person to blame for the embarrassing week three loss is the head coach, Joe Judge. Even though he clearly does not have the weapons, Judge still recorded the third straight loss of his head coaching career. It is a job that is predicated on winning, and Judge has yet to do this thus far. Things were looking good for him after weeks one and two, but after a blowout loss to a heavily injured team, Judge’s hire will be receiving some backlash. It is important not to jump ship too quickly, as a proper rebuild takes time, but if Judge can not make this team competitive, New York sports fans may get antsy after multiple straight years of losing.

Giants’ Passing Game Targets Shift with Barkley, Shepard Out

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

The New York Giants will be without running back Saquon Barkley (knee) for the remainder of the season and Sterling Shepard which will change the target/touches dynamic of their already challenged offense.

The Giants are the lowest scoring team (they have 29 points, one less than the Jets after two games) and now must figure out who will be their “go to” players going forward. Currently, wide receiver Darius Slayton and tight end Evan Engram lead the team in targets in the passing game with 15 apiece. That is likely to continue, as both players are two of the most attractive targets in the league at their respective positions, in the coming games.

But who else on the Giants’ offense could benefit?

Golden Tate returned last week after missing the opener against Pittsburgh with a hamstring issue. Tate caught all five of his targets for 47 yards last week against the Bears. You can expect this reliable veteran who has become a favorite of quarterback Daniel Jones to see an uptick in targets until Shepard returns.

Barkley had nine targets in the five and half quarters he played this year and was a key cog in the passing game. Luckily for the Giants they now have three backs who can all catch the football out of the backfield: Dion Lewis, Wayne Gallman and Devonta Freeman. In the beginning, we will likely see more of Lewis and Gallman due to their familiarity with the offense but it is expected that Freeman will be asked to contribute more and more as the season unfolds. This should be interesting.

At the wide receiver position, the Giants aren’t very deep. After Slayton and Tate, there’s only Damion Ratley and C.J. Board. The team has decided to house four tight ends on the roster (Engram, Kaden Smith, Levine Toilolo, Eric Tomlinson) instead. The Giants will need Board and Ratley to produce in three-wide sets and we just haven’t seen enough of either to predict how that is going to play out.

At tight end, only Smith can be relied on as a pass catcher behind Engram. He has become a favorite of Jones, especially in the red zone should the Giants ever get there again.

New York Giants: Are Daniel Jones’s 2020 Turnovers Alarming?

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

Much has been said about New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones two weeks through his second NFL season. Already, fans are campaigning for the Giants to tank the season, get the first overall pick, and draft Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. The Giants have played two games in the 2020 NFL season, mind you.

Granted, New York has lost those two games. But they also played two of the best defenses in the NFL while trotting out aa brand new offensive line. The Giants were never expected to win those games, so why are fans in such a panic? Well, apparently, Daniel Jones is turning the ball over at an “alarming” rate. Is he really? Or are fans just used to their seasons ending in September, and subsequently freaking out over a few bad plays?

Daniel Jones’s Two Turnovers Against Pittsburgh

Daniel Jones turned the ball over twice in Week One. Daniel threw two interceptions en route to a 26-16 loss versus Pittsburgh. The Steelers have one of the best defenses in the NFL, so it is no surprise that the Giants, who were installing a brand new offensive scheme, struggled against that defense.

Daniel Jones’s first interception was made by superstar edge rusher TJ Watt. On that play, Jones was targetting Evan Engram on a short route. Engram was well-covered on the play, but not by TJ Watt. Watt read Jones’s eyes, jumped up, and made an incredible interception. It is hard to fault Jones here. Daniel did not throw into coverage and the coverage-man made the play. He threw to a receiver and a defensive lineman picked the ball out of the air.

So, most fans decided we could give Daniel Jones a pass on this play. He was not really at fault for TJ Watt making a spectacular defensive play. But Jones’s second turnover was horrific.

On his second interception, Daniel Jones had multiple opportunities to take a sack or throw the ball out of bounds. While rolling out of the pocket, Jones held the ball way too long and floated a poor pass (after his arm was hit) into the end zone that was intercepted by defensive lineman Cameron Heyward.

This interception was completely avoidable. This play killed a 19-play drive that would have been the best of Daniel Jones’s career. This was an ugly turnover, but has Jones made any more head-scratching decisions like this?

Daniel Jones’s Two Turnovers Against Chicago

In Week Two, Daniel Jones once again turned the ball over twice. Once again, Jones was facing one of the best front-sevens in the NFL that features Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn off the edges. Quinn and Mack got the best of the Giants’ offensive tackles in this game.

Jones threw one interception and lost one fumble in this game. But does he deserve blame for both of these turnovers?

Undoubtedly, Daniel deserves blame for the fumble in this game. Check out this play breakdown to understand why:

Jones, once again, held onto the football too long here, resulting in a fumble. But later on in that same game, Daniel found himself in a similar situation. Instead of fumbling the ball, Jones put two hands on the ball and fell forward to ensure he lost as little yardage as possible.

So yes, he deserves blame for that turnover. But he also deserves some credit for learning from it and not making the same mistake twice. What about his other turnover from this game?

Daniel Jones threw an interception in this game as well. On this play, Jones was once again targeting Evan Engram. Unfortunately, Engram slipped coming out of his route and was on the ground when Jones threw the ball. The ball was intercepted because of this. It is hard to blame Daniel Jones for this interception.

So, through two games, Jones has turned the ball over four times. Two of them have been his own fault, one of them was a spectacular defensive play, and the other one was the fault of the intended receiver.

Last season, Jones fumbled the ball 18 times in 13 games. So far, has fumbled once in two games and fans are ready to move on. Daniel Jones has started a total of 14 games in his career. He is young, he is learning, and he is improving. Giants fans need to be more patient with their quarterback. There are fourteen games left in the 2020 NFL season. Let’s table the Trevor Lawrence conversation for now.

New York Giants: Week Two Has Sense Of Urgency According To Evan Engram

New York Giants, Evan Engram

The New York Giants are in a position that’s become familiar as of recent: the position of being 0-1 after one game has passed. The team has a bad record in recent years with their openers, but for the 2020 season, the Giants have a new administration. According to tight end Evan Engram, the team is doing a good job so far bouncing back between weeks.

Engram’s remarks on Friday

It’s a short week between the Giants’ opener on Monday Night Football and their next game, in Chicago. Engram, however, says that the Giants didn’t miss out on attention to detail because of it.

“We had a lot of urgency this week. Being a short week, the schedule was adjusted. I think we did a really good job this week of flying around with urgency and attention to detail, and getting all of our reps in and work in,” Engram told reporters on Friday.

When asked about how the staff approached his performance in week one, he also claimed the needed fixes were on the minor side.

“Just fixing some details that I needed to get fixed. Just some small things in the game that I could have been better at. When we broke down the film, we highlighted those and I added that to the emphasis of my practices throughout the week, and then we moved on,” he continued.

Engram had two receptions for only nine yards in the season opener. That’s out of seven targets – not the best performance, for a player that’s meant to be one of the receiving game’s most promising weapons. For the previous two seasons, Engram has struggled with injuries.

Now that he’s healthy for now, the next step is obviously producing on the field. But after one week, Engram’s ability to do that consistently will be called into question by many fans who expect more and expect results soon.

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?

Why Giants’ Evan Engram will bounce back in week 2 Vs the Bears

New York Giants, Evan Engram

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.

Engram’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 would’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 don’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.