A couple of Jacksonville Jaguars players reached milestones in the 26-0 win over the Carolina Panthers. Outside linebacker Josh Allen tied and later broke Calais Campbell's franchise record for sacks in a season, and Evan Engram crossed the 100-reception mark for the season. Had the Jags lost, neither accomplishment would've been as meaningful, which is why Engram is glad they got the win.
Engram talked to the media following the game and said that his family and friends were there to witness his record-breaking performance. "I knew I was at 98 [catches]. All my friends and family, they're here," Engram said. "My trainers and everybody that's been a part of the journey. They let me know. I tried to stay ready to go get the win. That's where my mindset was. I knew where I was. I knew when I caught it too. It was nice."
Later in the exchange, Engram said he was glad the team snapped the four-game losing streak, "It's big. Four weeks in a row, not coming, not figuring it out. That gets tough. A lot of teams don't bounce back from it. Today is a big, big step for us because we're able to let that go, use today as a really good reminder of what we are and who we can be."
"Now, we know it's in our hands, it's still in our hands and we get to go finish it in the last week of the season for the T-shirts in the locker room. That's today's big for our mental. I think it's a great reset for us to realize we experienced our adversity. Now let's learn from it and move forward."
Engram entered the game with 98 catches and his 60 receptions for 60 yards put him at 104 for the season. It became the 11th time in NFL history that a tight end caught 100 receptions or more in a season. Travis Kelce has done it three times. Lionel Taylor, Dallas Clark, Tony Gonzales, Zack Ertz, Darren Waller, and Mark Andrews are the other tight ends who've accomplished the feat.
When asked what it meant to join such an illustrious list of tight ends, Engram said that it meant a lot and credited all the people that stood by his side.
"A lot of work was put in. There were people out there calling me a bust, had all the words in the world for me in my career. A lot of credit to God, his world for me, the resilience that I showed in my work, in my craft, and the people around me that helped pick me up every single day and helped me get better," Engram said.
Engram went on, "My teammates my coaches, my trainers, my fiance. The list goes on. It means the world to me. I do not take it lightly. I feel like I'm gonna be here for a while. I definitely feel blessed to be a part of the greats on that list, I'm going to try to keep joining them."
The Jaguars got a building block in Evan Engram
Evan Engram's stint with the New York Giants was filled with glimpses of the talent that made him a first-round pick in the 2017 draft. However, it was also marred by drops and mental mistakes. Hence, the bust label he was referring to. It wasn't until he joined the Jacksonville Jaguars last year that he was able to put it all together.
In his first season in Jacksonville, Engram was able to cut down on the drops. Moreover, he set personal bests for catches in a season and receiving yards in a season. If that wasn't enough he broke several franchise records, including receiving yards by a tight end in a season, receptions by a tight end in a season, and receiving yards in a game by a tight end.
Engram's banner season led him to sign a three-year deal worth $44 million in the offseason, and he rewarded the Jaguars with yet another productive campaign. Besides breaking the records, he's stepped up in the absence of Christian Kirk and Zay Jones.
But as great as Evan Engram has been for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the job isn't done. They'll need him to continue to make plays to qualify for the playoffs and potentially make a deep push.