Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans is known for two things in Tampa Bay: 1000 yard seasons and scoring touchdowns.
Evans’ eight consecutive seasons of posting 1,000 receiving yards to begin his pro career is an NFL record held only by him. And that, along with his four Pro Bowl berths and a Super Bowl championship, is what will likely put Evans in the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day.
While Evans does not have a year that meets his high standards, he has positioned himself to finish a ninth straight season at 1,000 meters. With four games left in the 2022 campaign, Evans has caught 59 passes for 805 yards and three touchdowns. He needs 195 yards in the four remaining games to hit 1,000 yards for the season. With Evans averaging 67 yards per game in the 12 games he played in, the Bucs’ best receiver in franchise history will finish with 1,073 yards in 2022 if he just plays to his average.
Former Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians made it a point to make sure Evans got 1,000 yards every season he led the Bucs. Evans had 1,006 yards in 2020 and then 1,035 yards last season.
Current Bucs head coach Todd Bowles is strongly in favor of Evans continuing his streak of 1,000-yard seasons, but wants to make sure it coincides with the team’s primary goal of reaching the playoffs by beating the NFC South championship win. The Bucs currently lead the division with a 6-7 record.
“It would be great to have, but… our priority is to get into the playoffs, and hopefully it gets into that realm,” said Bowles.
Evans van Bucs off his TD pace from years ago
While Evans has a chance to extend his streak of 1,000-yard seasons, he is still far from tying his record for single-season touchdown catches. He has just three touchdowns in 2022 and hasn’t found the end zone since Week 4, when he did so twice against Kansas City in a 41-31 loss on Sunday Night Football. Evans had a 68-yard touchdown negated by a call to left tackle Donovan Smith in last week’s 35-7 loss in San Francisco.
The former Bucs first-round pick set a new franchise record with 12 touchdowns as a rookie in 2014 and tied it in 2016, which was his first Pro Bowl season. He broke that record with 13 TDs in 2020 and set a new record with 14 last year, which was his fourth Pro Bowl season.
For some reason, the connection between Evans and quarterback Tom Brady has been broken this year. Pewter Report’s Josh Queipo wrote that in a recent article.
In Sunday’s loss to the 49ers, Brady had a poor low throw to Evans, who was open in the end zone on a fourth-and-goal play.
“I wouldn’t say it’s just really Mike or Tom,” Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said of Brady and Evans’ misfires. “I just think we need to do better to connect offensively with everything, just to make sure we communicate well, to make sure we really are all on the same wavelength. So a lot of work done all week. Things happen on Sunday. But really just football. It’s not really Mike and Tom, it’s just us as a group, we need to try harder just to make plays, perform better, coach better, all of the above to get better results.
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