The Receiving Game Within The Game

May 6th, 2020

Who is better?

Say what you will about the PFF Tribe, but they got Joe thinking last night.

The tribe listed their top players under the age of 25. The Bucs have just one on the list (Chris Godwin).

The choice is not surprising.

Age at kickoff: 24 years, 6 months, 14 days

Godwin was another easy choice here. You don’t earn the highest overall grade in the NFL among wide receivers at 24 years old — as Godwin did in 2019 — and miss out on this list. After earning grades of 81.9 in 2017 and 80.4 in 2018, Godwin took his game one step further this past season, breaching the elite at the position. Interestingly, he did it at a high level in both the slot (63% of his routes in 2019) and out wide. He is at the forefront of the talented receiving options at Tom Brady’s disposal in his first year with Tampa Bay.

Again, no real shock here. But earlier in the day, the tribe Twittered out this little nugget about how good Godwin is in yards after catch (YAC).

Now that was the entire NFL, not just dudes under 25.

And it got Joe thinking: In the past couple of seasons, Joe has noticed people starting to heckle Mike Evans for his lack of YAC. Personally, Joe thinks that is extreme nitpicking.

Evans is the best receiver this franchise has ever had. He’s putting up Hall of Fame numbers and Joe is not blowing smoke here. Joe believes Evans is elite and Joe’s also quite confident if Evans wasn’t here, it’s entirely possible neither is Tom Brady, and to continue the domino effect, neither is Rob Gronkowski and maybe not Ndamukong Suh or Jason Pierre-Paul.

Joe remembers a couple of summers ago having beers with a college offensive coordinator and this guy told Joe he always thought Evans was a possession receiver. He wasn’t knocking Evans; this coordinator thought the world of him.

For example, Godwin last year was No. 5 in YAC for receivers with 577 yards. Evans was way down the list with 256.

Now when you factor in YAC, what that college coordinator told Joe sort of made sense. Evans will get his catches, not so much extra yards. And the way Evans hauls in the ball so consistently, Joe is good with that.

The night after the Bucs beat the Saints in 2017 on New Year’s Eve, when Godwin hauled in that 39-yard bomb from Mr. Entertainment, America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, to end the game (costing them Quentin Nelson in the draft), Joe spoke with Evans about Godwin. Evans told Joe that Godwin is a No. 1 receiver.

Joe then asked Evans, “Mike, I thought you were the No. 1 receiver?” He replied, “I am.” then he started to walk away before turning back to Joe with a smirk on his face and said, “Now don’t you start nothing!”

Look, Joe is a huge fan of Evans. How can you not be? Again, Evans is on a Hall of Fame path.

But when it comes to Godwin, perhaps Evans was on to something?

25 Responses to “The Receiving Game Within The Game”

  1. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    They are both studs! Our new WR Tyler Johnson will give us 3 WR’s who can all play outside or in the slot. Throw in our TE’s and 2 solid RB’s. We really have a chance this year. Our defense is stacked as well. Injuries will be the main thing that either makes or breaks our season. This is the first time in years that I’ve truly looked forward to the season starting and think we can make a serious push into the playoffs.

  2. Sport Says:

    Godwin will get paaaaiiid next year if not sooner. Restructuring, trade, cuts, somethings gonna have to give to have a balanced team.

    Such nice problems to have….How to keep all-stars.

    In BA I Trust!

  3. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Having Brady and Gronk, I believe, will change the way we used Godwin. We could see maybe Tyler Johnson on that list next year while Chris Godwin moves exclusively dedicated to the outside. The slot will be manned by an array of TE’s or WR’s Johnson and Miller. There will be a ton of targets.

  4. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Brady to Evans
    Brady to Godwin
    Brady to Gronkowski
    Brady to Johnson
    Brady to Jones III
    Brady to Brate
    Brady to Miller
    Brady to Vaughn
    Brady to Watson
    Brady to Howard
    Wow …each one of those has a great ring to it!

    Go Bucs!

  5. teacherman777 Says:

    Who compared Chris Godwin to Jerry Rice in his first season?


    Check the archives mothersuckas!

    Next prediction?

    Tyler Johnson is gonna be the next Hines Ward!

    Tyler is MEAN. He is gonna be badass blocker like Hines Ward and Godwin.

    Go Bucs!

    PS- Jensen is too expensive. We could have gotten one of the best OG/C in the nation in the 2nd round. But we passed it up again. SMH.

  6. KyrieBuc Says:

    I am SO PUMPED for the season! If this video doesn’t get you hyped up for the season nothing will!!

  7. Hodad Says:

    Nice Joe, you figured out we have two #1 receivers. How long you been covering the Bucs?

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Sport … I agree with you; Chris Godwin ‘will get paaaaiiid next year if not sooner’. I’m just concerned that it may not be by the Bucs. We’ll be in competition with 31 OTHER teams for his services, and the salary Cap is the big equalizer unfortunately.

    The Bucs have loaded up on talent this year, and the cost has been ZERO salary Cap left. No problem IMO; salary Cap ‘in the bank’ doesn’t do you any good if you’re not winning diddly. But it also means that the Bucs have relatively little room to maneuver when it comes to doing early contracts, fixing ‘holes’, and things like that.

    Restructuring always comes at a cost IMO, and it’s gotten a lot of teams into trouble for future years. Among them? The Patriots, Rams, Saints, Chiefs & Falcons. They all have essentially zero salary Cap left (BEFORE signing their rookie class). Why? Because each has a LOT of dead Cap to contend with … as a result of restructuring contracts. Bucs have close to zero ($88K), while the Pats have $24.2 MIL to compensate for, and only $2 MIL of salary Cap space to play with. And oh ya, no franchise QB now (they sold out for DEFENSE).

    The Falcons aren’t much better off: $13.1 MIL in dead Cap and only $172K in salary Cap left (they sold out for OFFENSE). The Chiefs? $10.3 MIL in dead Cap, with only $1.6 MIL in salary Cap left (and with Patrick Mahomes in the last year of his initial contract costing only $5.3 mil … Chiefs put their last shekels into DEFENSE to go for the gusto, and it paid off – LAST YEAR).

    This is one area I will give Jason Licht a lot of credit for. Decent salary Cap management is what allowed us to sign Tom Brady, Shaq, Suh and JPP. And to build a decent offense AND defense (HOPEFULLY). I’m impressed with how he’s managed our dead Cap. For THIS year it’s tied up in players who we KNOW won’t be cut (or traded actually) … Brady ($25 mil), White ($25 mil), ME13 ($18.2 mil), JPP ($17.5 mil), Donovan Smith ($14.5 mil), Vea ($8.8 mil) and Suh ($8 mil).

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Mike Evans runs totally different routes…… definitely a possession receiver much like Keyshawn Johnson.

    We need to figure our a way to pay Godwin this year…..he deserves it….and it looks like we have no money right now…..

  10. Ndog Says:

    Chris Godwin is better than Mike Evans there I said it for you. He’s simply a more complete player.

  11. dmatt Says:

    Evans is not as durable as Godwin n I remember the comment Evans made about Godwin being a #1 receiver. IMO, Godwin is better than Evans n that’s not starting anything, it’s a fact. I think Evans has been consistent with gaining over 1000 yards since entering the league. Also, the advantage Evans has over Godwin is NFL experience of seven years vs his three years. However, Godwin is a beast after the catch vs Evans push off n complains, quick to cuddle up or flinch after a catch, or go down when anticipating a hit. Godwin Is faster, can block, make the difficult catches, is great at YAC, does not complain or allow db to bait him into pushing off, n is humble. Godwin is a Hines Ward/Andre Johnson type player with a trait of Larry Fitzgerald personality. Pound for pound I would take Godwin over Evans any day.

  12. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    surprised at the # of DBs on the list – 8, and only 2 DEs. Disappointed VV is not on the list; no recognition for the #1 run D?

  13. WyldKat Says:

    Jameis didn’t throw YAC balls very well.

  14. Bucsfanman Says:

    Godwin is a beast. He was a beast at Penn St., he’s a beast now.
    Having two stud WRs makes this team a formidable opponent for years to come.
    Make sure we keep them.

  15. Kobe Faker Says:

    “MEME Evans is a 1 trick pony

    He only runs 1 route well and prone to have the ball intercepted when he runs the other pass routes

    The only route he runs well is the go route from the outside which he runs it better than any reciever in the NFL

    Other than Randy Moss, MEME go route is as indefensible pass pattern seen in the NFL

    At 6’5″ with basketball skillset, MEME has a enormous 3-4 feet vertical window for a QB to throw at though the defender is running side by side”

    Kobe Faker

  16. Youngbucs Says:

    I agree with ndog Godwin is better.

  17. Herbiebuc Says:

    @joe that comment about jamies costing us quentin nelson is disgusting because if you apply that same logic to this year then he gave us a shot at Tristan wirfs right? Jameis was treated unfairly!

  18. Joe Says:

    if you apply that same logic to this year then he gave us a shot at Tristan wirfs right? Jameis was treated unfairly!

    Matt Gay.

  19. Herbiebuc Says:


  20. Craig Says:

    Just imagine Godwin getting consistent, in stride passes. Evans will just be a third down WR.

    It will be awesome.

  21. unbelievable Says:

    We’ve got 2 true #1 WRs.

    Let’s not squander their careers!

  22. Ship Thief Says:

    I remember ready this article the first time you guys posted it…

  23. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    To show the fickleness of Bucs fans the year he had a number of drops quite a few fans were whining and complaining about it a few even considering he wasn’t as good as he showed himself to be. People who’ve never even played the game in their lives doubted his toughness, but now they’re singing his praise. YAC has never been his problem as he has shown numerous times it is ball placement and designed play. It really boggs my mind with all these people who still claim YAC is his fault. How many times does the man have to get past defenses 40 yards down field for people to realize he has all the ability for YAC???? Mike Evans is the greatest receiver the Bucs have ever had and Godwin will be a close second. Unfortunately for Godwin the instant he has even a slightly off year like Mike Alstott and his fumbles a lot of fans will quickly jump off his bandwagon only to jump back on as if they never left.

  24. Buczilla Says:

    Godwin is damn good and clearly better than Mike in YAC. I also think that Mike is the straw that stirs the drink in the Buc’s offense. No way in hell that Godwin dominates like he did last year without Mike in the lineup. To those that say that Mike is only a possession guy, than I guess that Randy Moss was only one too. Moss’s yards per reception is at 15.6 while Mike’s is at 15.7. “Shrug”.

  25. REDZONE BA Fan Says:

    Count me in, as fan who 100% ADMIRES Godwin. Dude made an unbelievable catch in a game this year in end-zone for TD (opposing team escapes my memory). In real time view, I was blown away that the play was a TD and that Godwin actually CAUGHT the ball!. I used my DVR to rewind and slow-play the catch, as I expected the play to be overturned. Even in slow-play mode, I still could not believe that Godwin hauled in the one-handed catch, falling down, with defender in his face. This guy is Bucs Hero, and maybe our best WR…. bad throw by Winston, and Godwin somehow with one hand, hauled in the pass for TD. i rewound my DVR 5 times, and still do not know how Godwin caught that ball. My DUDE!