Film Room: Engram is a Game-Changer (The Bad Kind)
By Spiro Kasabian @nyspawtsguy_spi
Things started out well for Evan Engram last Thursday night. Jason Garrett clearly wanted to make it a point to get Engram involved early and often. Engram’s few remaining backers were begging for this kind of scenario against an Eagle defense that has been burned by Tight Ends throughout the season.
We are going to play a fun game of “How it Began; How it Ended”.
How it Began:
Thursday Night started off great, with Engram getting a hand-off from Daniel Jones and gaining seven yards on it. In the Second Quarter, on a 2nd and 14, Jones found Engram on a corner route for 17 yards to convert a long first down. “Maybe Garrett is finally starting to figure out how to use this guy!” I said to myself after the play….
Not but THREE plays later, Daniel Jones threw a quick slant pass to Engram that had too much heat on it but is still a ball that should be caught be a professional Tight End. If not caught, certainly not popped into the air. Low and behold, the ball below went through Engram’s hands and into Jalen Mills’ waiting arms for another Daniel Jones interception.
Add that drop to Engram’s league-leading 21 drops since 2017. The interception was Jones’ 7th on the season, four of which Engram was targeted on. It was a bad play that involved Engram, but Engram’s night was about to get a WHOLE lot worse.
How it Ended:
With the New York Giants up 21-16, they embarked on what could have been a game-ending drive with 4:34 left. After Wayne Gallman picked up back to back first downs on the ground, the Giants were in business and looked to be close to putting the icing on the cake of a huge divisional win.
With 2:14 left, and the Eagles down to their final time out, the Giants were facing a 3rd and 7 from their own 47-yard line. Garrett drew up a great play to get Engram into a one-on-one with Safety, Will Parks. Engram gets clean separation right off the line and is streaking down the field on a fade route. All he had to do was haul in a beautifully placed ball by Daniel Jones. The game would have effectively been over. Then, this happened…..
I have no real explanation for how or why he dropped the pass. It appears that he pulled his arms in a bit too early (what we, in the “biz”, call Alligator Arms), but this is simply a catch that HAS to be made. Could the ball have been thrown a tenth of an inch shorter? Sure, but that’s about as pretty of a pass as you can make by Daniel Jones in a clutch situation. At some point, you have to trust your former first round pick to make a difficult catch (it wasn’t THAT difficult).
Once again, Engram came up short. Instead of his night ending with 7 catches for 70+ yards (and a big Giants W), it ended with 6 catches for 46 insignificant yards. Time is running out for Evan, who could be traded before this week’s trade deadline if the Giants get the right offer. Thursday night was yet another game to forget for #88. It might even end up being his last in Blue.
It was all right there for Engram and the Giants. Game on the line, a healthy Engram streaking down the field with a great move to create separation, and a beautiful pass by Jones. You couldn’t have asked for a better situation. However, much like every other big spot the Giants have been in this year, they failed to capitalize.
I hate to blame the loss on one player, because that is never fair. Engram will have to bear the biggest brunt for this loss though. In the game’s most pivotal play, Engram failed miserably. I defended Engram up until now, but there is nothing more to defend. At some point, if you want to be a star, you have to make star plays. In a healthy year, we haven’t seen nearly enough from Evan.