JACKSONVILLE – The goals and approach are the same.
That's the first thing Evan Engram will tell you about this week, but the Jaguars' veteran tight end will tell you something else, too:
There's some added excitement in this "normal" week.
"It's going to be fun," Engram said as the Jaguars (2-4) prepared to play the New York Giants (5-1) at TIAA Bank Field Sunday at 1 pm.
What makes it fun for Engram is it will be his first game against the Giants, the team that selected him No. 23 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.
"I know he's excited to play those guys," Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence said. "He's one of our hardest workers, after practice, during practice, just always getting extra reps. I'm sure there's a little bit more emotion behind that this week playing his old team. It should be that way every week, but I definitely think he's excited for this one. We all are."
Engram spent five seasons with the Giants, catching 262 passes for 2,828 yards and 16 touchdowns. He signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in March.
"It's just weird," he said. "Practicing with those guys, playing with those guys the past five years … this is going to be the first time [playing against them]. I do know a lot of the guys still over there. They're having success. They're one of the best teams in the league right now.
"I know more of the guys on the offensive side of the ball, but even the guys on the defense … it will be cool to see them and make some plays against them. We have an opportunity to go beat them, so that makes it cool."
Engram said while there may be words exchanged Sunday – "a little something, something" – he added that any such interaction will definitely be "all in fun."
"It's another where we've got to win," Engram said. "We've got to win this one. The sense of urgency is here. I'm excited to play these guys. It's going to be a fun game to play in, for sure. But I'm caught up in here, what we've got do to go win."
Engram, too, said he likes the progress made with the Jaguars' offense and with Lawrence this season. He has caught 24 passes for 208 yards with no touchdowns in six games, and the Jaguars' offense is ranked 11th in the NFL in total yards after ranking 27th last season.
They are also scoring 23 points per game after scoring 14.9 points per game last season.
"I think we're right where we're supposed to be," Engram said. "We're growing each and every day. Stuff like that, connections that are really special … those don't happen overnight. We're working really together in this offense. He's working with everybody. He wants that connection with everybody.
"We're right where we need to be and we're growing together as well."
Engram signed a one-year deal with the Jaguars in March, essentially gambling on himself in free agency with the idea of signing a long-term extension with a team next offseason. Through six games, he said couldn't be happier with the decision.
"I'm really growing a professional football player here," he said. "I'm learning so much. I love the relationships I'm building in this locker room. I love this locker room. I love the culture we have here and where we're headed.
"I'm here working and making plays on Sunday. Wherever that leads, God will take care of it."
- Jaguars rookie outside linebacker Travon Walker through six games has one sack, with that coming in Week 1 against Washington – a game in which he also had an interception that led to a touchdown. Walker in each of the last two games has committed a penalty to extend a touchdown drive – a fourth-quarter unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty against the Texans and a third-quarter roughing-the-passer-penalty against the Colts. "What you're seeing is teams are aware of him and scheming protection toward him," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said of the No. 1 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. "He's gaining the recognition and obviously gaining the respect of the opponents, but at the same time he needs to understand he can't get frustrated. He needs to continue to work and find ways to create rush and play within himself. He's a good player. He's only going to get better." Pederson called the penalties ones Walker "would like to have back, but he'll learn. Sometimes you learn the hard way. That's what he's going through right now."