Control of the NFC East division was in reach, floating through time and space, ready to be plucked.
And Evan Engram alligator-armed it.
The New York Giants let a golden opportunity to earn a victory that would have vaulted them into the conversation about who might win the wretched division slip through their fingers. In a big spot, Engram couldn't pull in the potential game-clinching catch.
On third-and-6 just ahead of the two-minute warning, Big Blue sported a 21-16 lead. Daniel Jones laid a perfect layup to the tight end down the left sideline. Engram dropped it.
"Got the look we wanted third down, a man look, D.J. threw a great ball and I just didn't finish the play. I gotta make that play," Engram said, via the NY Daily News. "It sucks. It's a sucky feeling right now."
Had Engram made the catch, he might have scored a TD. At worst, the Giants would have had a first down around the 25-yard-line, killed more clock and the Eagles' final two timeouts, and kicked a field goal to stretch the lead to seven points making a comeback much harder for Philly.
Instead, the Giants punted.
As has taken place numerous times in a rivalry that's been lopsided lately, the Eagles drove the field, scored the go-ahead score, then stripped Jones to seal it with less than a minute remaining. Final score: Philadelphia 22, New York 21.
"It's not a good feeling not making that play and possibly putting the game on ice," Engram said. "We definitely let one get away."
The loss was the Giants' eighth straight to Philly, the longest losing streak of the rivalry since 12 from 1975-1981. During that streak, Big Blue fans have watched Wentz lead three game-winning drives.
One play a game does not make, but Engram's disappearing act this season for a team hurt by injury that needs all the playmakers it can get is worrisome. At times the talented but inconsistent tight end can't get out of his own way. The brutal drop late Thursday night epitomized those struggles.
"I thought he made plays to keep us in the game and bring us back when we were down and struggling on offense," coach Joe Judge said, per the New York Post. "He's a guy we have to keep involved in our offense. We have to keep getting him targets."
Jones tried to take some blame for the missed opportunity.
"I've got to do a better job putting the ball in a better position," Jones said.
That ball was perfect. Engram should have caught it. If Jones wants to take the blame for the earlier INT or the game-ending fumble instead of leading his team to a winning field goal, fine. This particular throw, the second-year QB put on a dime.
The Giants wasted an opportunity to pull within a half-game of the division lead and mark themselves as potential contenders. Instead, New York wakes up 1-6, closer to the top pick than the playoffs once again. It's Philly at 2-4-1 that leapfrogs to the top of the NFC East.