This game showed why the Giants turned down offers for Evan Engram at the NFL trade deadline for the third straight year.
This game showed why a frustrated segment of Giants fans want Engram to be dealt.
Engram made a full-extension diving 16-yard touchdown catch of a laser from quarterback Daniel Jones to help the Giants build a 17-point lead that stood up Sunday against a late rally by the Washington Football Team.
The 6-foot-3 tight end snared the ball with his fingertips and tucked it into his chest while falling onto his back for his first touchdown catch (to go with one as a rusher) of the season.
“I was just trying to make a play for the team and for Daniel,” Engram said after a 23-20 victory. “We got the look we wanted on that play and I just had to execute. D.J. threw a great ball, and I just had to finish it.”
But Engram also had two head-scratching drops: The first was juggled and briefly turned into an interception that replay overturned. The second hit him in the face mask and led to the Giants punting and setting up a quick-strike score by Washington.
Fox analyst Jonathan Vilma said Engram doesn’t drop easy passes often, but the memory remains fresh of a potentially game-sealing catch slipping through his fingers against the Eagles on Oct. 22.
“The drops, you don’t want those,” Engram said. “Just got to keep pushing through, and luckily we were able to overcome the adversity today and finish with a win.”
Only a trade offer including a first-round draft pick was going to pry away Engram from the Giants, according to an ESPN report. Giants coach Joe Judge considers the 26-year-old former first-round pick — who is under contract through the 2021 season — to be a “foundational” piece of the rebuild.
“I’m glad and blessed to be here and be a New York Giant,” Engram said. “But all of that stuff is out of my control. I don’t really pay that much attention to it. I’m controlling what’s on my plate and what’s in front of me. Whatever happens is whatever happens.”
The Giants left receiver Golden Tate at home as punishment for selfish behavior and it opened up more targets for others. Rookie Austin Mack capitalized with a team-high 72 receiving yards, but Engram’s 10 targets (five catches for 48 yards) made him Jones’ preferred weapon.
“Golden is a great talent and he’s made plays over and over again all year,” Engram said. “We had to answer the adversity of not having one of our playmakers and try to compete to win the game.”
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