joe judge evan engram giants
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram led all pass catchers with 129 receiving yards in a pivotal win over the Bengals.

Jason Leach

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram had his most productive game of the season in the Giants’ 19-17 win over the Bengals. The fourth-year tight end caught six passes for a season-high 129 yards.

Engram, 26, made his biggest play of the game on the opening possession, hauling in a 53-yard reception down the right sideline. That catch would set up the Giants’ lone touchdown of the game.

The 53-yard reception showed just how fast Engram is and the difficulty defenses have matching up against him. After the game, Engram was asked what it was like to make plays downfield and utilize his speed.

“Yes, it was nice. It was really just good execution by the offense,” Engram told reporters. “Good protection and great ball. I’ve just been working on those plays. They played man across the board and we have to win those matchups. I was just trying to make a play for the team.”

The victory over the Bengals was more difficult than most thought it would be with Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow done for the season. But the Giants had to deal with adversity on Sunday, including a key fumble by Engram in the second quarter. They also lost Daniel Jones in the third quarter due to a hamstring injury.

But the Giants fought through the mistakes and now stand in first place in the NFC East. Engram was asked what it was like for the team to overcome this adversity.

“It’s a real testament to how we approach every day,” Engram recalled. “Every day, especially early on in the season, wasn’t easy. We had some tough losses, some close losses that in the past have really knocked us out. We didn’t allow that.

“We just continued to work. We’re playing as a team. We’re playing together. It wasn’t a very good-looking win today, but the team’s played together, especially defense. They stayed strong and made huge plays for us.”

While it’s great for the organization and their fans that the Giants are in first place, they have a tough road ahead of them. Over the next four games, the Giants will play teams that are all contending for the playoffs in the Seahawks, Cardinals, Browns, and Ravens.

Considering the Giants haven’t beaten a team with a winning record all season, this seems like a daunting task. But if the Giants are going to win their first division title since 2011, they’re going to have to find a way to pull off upsets, starting with the Seahawks next Sunday.

“Keep doing what we’ve been doing,” Engram explained when asked about the team’s approach leading up to the Seahawks. “We’ve played tough teams before. I think nothing is going to change this week. Our preparation is going to be the same. Our attention to detail is going to be the same.”

“We have to find ways to improve after this game, too, so it’s a stretch ahead of us. We have to worry about Seattle now and we’re going to have a good week of preparation to go there and compete to try to win a game.”

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.