INDIANAPOLIS — If you could get beyond the final score, then what you saw on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium was a view of the future so tantalizing it will carry you across the winter.
Saquon Barkley is a known entity; he has been fantastic all year, and even if the past two weeks he’s scuffled against defenses devised by Tennessee and Indianapolis to slow him down, there is little doubt he will be a star for many years.
Odell Beckham Jr.? Yeah. You know him, too. You’ve seen what he’s capable of, and though he’s been absent from the Giants the past few weeks, that only makes you realize just how dangerous a weapon he is.
Eli Manning? Maybe you think the Giants should phase him out, and that’s certainly a fair point of view, but he’s still a guy who is capable of throwing for 309 yards, as he did in Sunday’s 28-27 loss to the Colts. And he’s still capable of doing that on a day when his running game abandoned him.
And now there’s a new toy, too.
Oh, Evan Engram hasn’t exactly been hiding in plain sight these past two years. He’s had his moments. But mostly those moments were fleeting. And he’d never had a day quite like this one before: six catches (on six targets) for 87 yards, with a long of 32. Add to that a couple of runs of 13 yards apiece and …
Well, that’s some offense.
“I’m just trying to stay consistent and take advantage of every opportunity I get,” Engram said. “I’m just trying to do my job the best way I know how.”
He did that Sunday. The Colts couldn’t quite figure out how to stop the 6-foot-4, 230-pound tight end out of Mississippi, and he nearly carried the day for the spoiling Giants, who were trying to knock the Colts out of the playoffs and nearly did.
His head coach certainly noticed.
“Yeah, he was very productive for us,” Pat Shurmur said. “He has really come on here in the latter part of the season. He’s a very explosive guy — we threw him a couple of reverses in there, too. So, yeah, we are pleased. He is back healthy and he’s having an impact on the game.”
And if he can develop into a consistent third weapon (fourth, if you rightly had wideout Sterling Shepard) for Manning — or whoever the Giants quarterback of tomorrow might be — you have something. You found something Sunday. If you can get past the score.