Help Mike Evans Score

July 7th, 2018

Simple math. (Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers.)

Joe has stated on this very corner of the interwebs that receiver Mike Evans is underrated.

Joe understands he’s not a burner, but that doesn’t mean Evans is not damn good. He is a chain-mover and when he scores the Bucs often win, as pointed out by Jenna Laine of ESPN.

No Bucs receiver has been targeted more than Evans, who last season became just the third player in NFL history to record more than 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first four seasons. When the Bucs won nine games in 2017, Evans had seven touchdowns in the victories (he had 12 for the season). Even when he doesn’t get the ball, the fact that Evans is on the field and drawing the majority of focus from opposing defenses (he is frequently shadowed by opposing teams’ best cornerbacks or double-teamed), helps other targets such as DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin, Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard. Plus, Evans is a very physical blocker in the run game and downfield.

So Joe started doing just a little bit of research. Seems whenever Evans does well, so do the Bucs. Yes, in 2016 Evans had 12 touchdowns and the Bucs had a winning record. As bad as things have been around here the past 10 years, a winning record is like a trip to the Super Bowl.

Last year the Bucs had a losing record, winning but five games. How did Evans do? He had five touchdowns.

When the Bucs won six games in 2015, how did Evans fare? He had only three touchdowns.

Joe is hardly a math major. But if the past three years are any indication, if somehow the Bucs can find a way to get Evans into the end zone with the ball, wins will follow.

22 Responses to “Help Mike Evans Score”

  1. Chris in WA Says:

    Well it’s a good thing that 2014 was left off of this research, but who could blame him when Josh McCown is the QB and Lovie is the HC.

  2. BigMacAttack Says:

    Evans could have 25 TDs if they could get him the ball. I know there’s not many Raheem Morris fans still around, but I’m one. One of his favorite lines was timing and precision. Some may call it accuracy but the ball needs to placed with pinpoint accuracy. Raheem summed it up well. Jameis, Fitz or somebody has be on the money. It hasn’t happened with any amount of consistency for Evans. If Mike played for the Saints or Patriots with QB that could pinpoint passes, he’d be the top receiver in the league. They have got to narrow those windows with their passes. I personally believe it’s a coaching flaw because the Bucs’ passers have a hard time with tight windows, timing and precision. Raheem could have probably win a championship with this roster. So how bout it Derp? Whatcha gonna do? Win or make more excuses?

  3. Pete I Says:

    Well red zone problems abound and have for a while. Frankly anyone getting in the end zone more is a winning formula. So far the Bucs don’t do that.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Not a math major either joe, but the defense in 2016 was the difference maker more often than 9 wins they had 16 ints, in 7 losses only 1 int
    Hopefully the changes to the d-line and secondary will help turn the ship around

  5. Pickgrin Says:

    Evans had 12 TDs his rookie year and the Bucs only won 2 games. You “forgot” to add 2014 to that list. Oh wait – that years results don’t fit the narrative…

    Yes – We need Big Mike to score when his opportunities come. But what we need more is for Winston to stop forcing the ball to Evans (and Brate) in the end zone and instead focus on finding the open receiver.

  6. JameisNOT Says:

    Evans should have a great 2019 after the Bucs tank this year and draft Will Grier out of West Virginia. Face it, Bucs will tank this year, will get rid of JW, and spend that money on resigning some key members of the offensive line. AND hopefully bring in some free agents that are not at the end of their career that are simply picking up a paycheck…. DJ and JPP.

  7. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Yeah, it’s a great point that when your #1 WR scores points, the team might win. The correlation for getting Evans the ball and wins is perhaps not quite as strong. And true, though Evans draws extra coverage to free up other receivers, things are not what they could be since Winston has yet to be able to hit DJax in stride after he takes the top off of defenses. The clear hole is the lack of a running game–and horrid defense. So no doubt with the corps of receivers on the Bucs, hope with RoJo, and a rebuilt D, they could do much better than 5-6 wins. That is of course, starting in seasons where Evans and whoever is the QB can show conduct even like very average players and not hurt their teams every season with penalties and suspensions because they cannot lead, cannot control themselves. THAT I’d say is key reason why Evans is not the talk of the NFL, and that is why I think Winston will probably always be in someone’s rear view mirror.

  8. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Jameis needs to be more patient and involve other receivers not named
    Evans and Brate in the redzone. A lot of teams struggle in the redzone, and one way to avoid stacked coverages in the redzone is to throw acurrate passes
    from over 20 yards out from the endzone. Hopefully new additions to the O line
    will help, but Jameis needs to improve in this part of his game. He had 66 passes completed over 20 yards in 2015 and only 37 in 2017.

  9. JMan5 Says:

    Unlike one somebody he waits for permission to score.

  10. Dooshlarue Says:

    Wise words Pickgrin

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “if somehow the Bucs can find a way to get Evans into the end zone with the ball, wins will follow.” Given the Bucs’ propensity to settle for FGs lately, if they could get ANY PLAYER to get into the end zone with the ball, wins will follow. I’d rather see us take chances & lose than see us constantly play it safe & lose.

    And Pickgrin you’re exactly on target … Winston has to stop forcing the ball to Evans & Brate when we get near the end zone. A shorter field already helps the defense; they don’t need Jameis to make it even easier. I’m hopeful that Fitz will do a better job of spreading the ball around in those situations.

    As an aside Pickgrin, you got me curious if Jameis’ forcing the ball to Evans & Brate might’ve led to some of his turnovers (throwing INTs & being more vulnerable to fumbles by holding the ball too long waiting for one of them to get open). Looked at just the NFC South games over past 3 years (the Bucs are 8 Wins – 9 L in games he’s started; Fitz has 1 L against Falcons). Admittedly couldn’t tell from the box scores, but did notice something else interesting by focusing on turnovers (T/Os) … Bucs had only 10 T/Os in his 8 wins, but double that (20 T/Os) in his 9 losses in those 3 years. And yes, most of those T/Os were on Jameis. Yes, turnovers matter, big time. Also noticed that in the wins we scored an average 23 pts/game, but only 18 pts/game in the losses. Going for FGs left a lot of points on the table.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It should be a no-brainer that when your #! receiver scores….you win more often. But in this case, I think the wins in 2016 were because of that 5 game win streak headed by our stout defense.

  13. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Agree with Joe and D.R.

    I agree we need to score more TD’s but I don’t think that’s totally on Evans. It’s a TEAM failure.

    We’ve had people here pointing out Jameis inability to deliver the ball…I don’t agree with inability but he could certainly improve.

    We’ve had folks here question Koetter’s strategy and play calling. I’m not as down on him as many here but he certainly has a part as do Jameis and Evans in our failure to score TD’s.

    Our running game was non existent last year. Worse still it’s been FOREVER since we played an RB regularly who could take it to the house. In his two “good” years Martin was still drug down from behind regularly. We can hope if ROJO gets those opportunities he’s gone!

    This was team suckage last year. It’s more work to find a player on this team who actually played up to their ability.

    To win championships you need quite a few players to have “career” years. I’d settle for one or two at this point.

    There is so much blame to go around I just don’t see singling out players since they ALL played far beneath expectations. Licht was mediocre at best last year….Swaggy! Koetter no better..Doug Martin and play calling in the red zone.

    If you think about it we could be optimistic. We not only have new players…some of them with amazing heart like JPP…but what are the odds ALL the pieces will suck again like they did last year.

    And nobody wants to hear this but luck is a big part of sports. We are DUE…last year we had horrible luck….even down to the freakish play where an NFL official kicks the loose ball accidentally and the second wasted right at the end of the game by the officiating mistake took away our opportunity to win.

  14. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Guy gets little notoriety from the “nfl media” but the brooks & djs of the media know 13 is top 5 in NFL, problem is the bucs as a team have been a dumpster fire for evans carreer couple that with evans not having a consistent qb to get him the ball, hope bucs turn corner this year but 13 could just be a wasted top flight nfl talent here in tampa

  15. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    if Winston could hit him in stride he be the best receiver in the NFL! If he with almost any other quarterback in the NFL he’d be the best receiver.

  16. Bird Says:

    Favorite player on offense. Does he have elite speed – no. But with his quickness , size and wingspan you could say he is open on every play The dude can ball. A consistent running game will only help.

    Glad he is a buc ! He Grew up with adversity to the 100th degree and really works hard on and off the field. Seems like a really good dude that you can trust will doing great things for this organization.

  17. BucNole Says:

    You make some valid points
    good read

    totally agree

  18. Kobe Faker Says:

    “What is the best skillset a reciever can have for the QB?”

    “Route running” GOAT Tom Brady

    “The Bucs have the worst set of route running receivers in the NFL. MEME, Djax and Brate are the worst. MEME a possession receiver? LOL! MEME has a 53% catch percentage. MEME is who he is and soft tissue MEME is only going downhill after we made him the highest paid 17 mill per receiver”

    Kobe Faker

  19. Bob in Valrico Says:

    53% can easily be improved when Jameis puts the ball where only mike can catch
    it .Our WR’s have to adjust to jameis throws that off the mark at times. Jameis
    has one of the lowest Completion percentages on deep passes in the league, and it has little to do with
    route running and everything to do with ball placement.

  20. BuccoDav Says:

    No Bob, that is where you are wrong! The receivers are supposed to run the route 7 yards out of bounds so they are on the same page as JW’s passes.

  21. JMan5 Says:

    Lol bucco

  22. Destinjohnny Says:

    If he played with an elite qb….
    It would be epic