When you look at the 35-17 final between the Cowboys and Giants on Sunday, there isn't much to be happy about from New York's standpoint.
However, when you check the box score -- or just watch the game closely to begin with -- Giants fans should be happy about Evan Engram's production.
This season, Engram's third since he was drafted in the first round in 2016, was supposed to be the one where he really breaks out and becomes the matchup nightmare everyone in the Giants' organization knows he can be. And that's exactly what he did in a stellar first game.
Eli Manning targeted Engram 14 times in this one, and he hauled in 11 receptions for 116 yards which were all team highs. He was also the recipient of the first touchdown of the season, a play-action call that saw an easy grab for No. 88 in the left side of the end zone.
Engram was targeted from the start of the game, collecting Manning's first pass play of the season for a first down, and it didn't stop. He was a pain for Leighton Vander Esch, the Cowboys' young, budding linebacker, to cover. And that should be a lesson to opposing defenses going forward as well.
We all knew at 6-foot-3 and a 4.4 40-yard dash in his arsenal that Engram could basically work as a receiver from the tight end position. However, only glimpses of that showed in his first two seasons. He had a solid rookie campaign, but couldn't follow that up in 2018 as injuries hindered him from getting into a groove.
Week 1 was a big trend in the right direction, though Engram's numbers alone couldn't make up for the Giants' heavy deficit throughout the contest. There are other problems that need to be addressed on both sides of the ball, but for the offense, Engram knows the team needs to finish its drives, especially against good teams like the Cowboys.
"We just gotta finish drives," he told reporters. "Kinda made some mistakes, gotta cut those back. Got to the red zone a couple times and their defense was playing good, got stops. But we just gotta finish drives. It's simple."
The interesting underuse of Saquon Barkley was another stark issue with this offensive unit, and Manning's affinity to check down instead of taking shots down field is also worth watching. Engram isn't worried about just one loss, though. He knows the team will come back firing next week.
"It's definitely a lesson we'll learn today," he said. "This team is different from the past, we played a good team today that had our number. But it's only one game. We've got 15 left and the mentality in this locker room is where it needs to be. This is going to make us hungrier."
Engram's hunger yesterday was met with a full course meal of targets, and that's exactly what expected this season. If that's any indication of how head coach Pat Shurmur will use his tight end this season, we should finally see what Engram is made of.