The Denver Broncos are heavily favored against the New York Giants in Week 6.
With everything that has happened in New York since last weekend, it’s really easy to see why nobody is really giving the Giants much of a chance on Sunday.
New York will be without their top four wide receivers (Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Dwayne Harris were placed on Injured Reserve, and Sterling Shepard is out with an ankle injury), All-Pro defensive end Olivier Vernon, center Weston Richburg, who is their best offensive lineman, linebacker Jonathan Casillas, and starting running back Paul Perkins. To make matters worse, cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is suspended and All-Pro safety Landon Collins is also listed as questionable with an ankle injury.
One player that will be active, though, and could potentially cause a problem for the Broncos defense is rookie tight end Evan Engram.
“He’s a problem,” Denver defensive coordinator Joe Woods said on Thursday. “He is tremendous – he’s really a receiver playing tight end. You can see the explosiveness in his movements. He can win at the top of routes and create separation. There are a few things that we’re going to carry into the game that if we have any problems, we feel like we can take care of him.”
Woods is rightfully concerned. Opposing tight ends have had some success against the Broncos in 2017. Here is a quick rundown on how Denver has performed against the four opposing starting tight ends they have faced this year.
- Antonio Gates – 2 catches, 17 yards
- Jason Witten – 10 catches, 97 yards, 1 touchdown
- Charles Clay – 6 catches, 39 yards, 1 touchdown
- Jared Cook – 3 catches, 46 yards
Engram has a much different skillset than any of the tight ends the Broncos have matched up with thus far. The former Ole Miss star struggles as a blocker, but with 4.42-second speed in the 40-yard dash, he is a matchup nightmare in the passing game. As a result, expect to see the Broncos use a combination of players to defend Engram (safeties Justin Simmons and Will Parks, and cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby immediately come to mind).
Given the Giants’ issues at wide receiver, quarterback Eli Manning will likely look Engram’s way early and often on Sunday night. At the end of the day, though, it’s hard to envision a scenario where the New York offensive line will give Manning enough time to get the ball to Engram enough to make a significant impact in the outcome of the game.
The post Denver Broncos concerned about slowing down Giants TE Evan Engram appeared first on All 22.