The Off-The-Helmet Catch

October 28th, 2023

Joe is perpetually annoyed by the Mike Evans naysayers that have been loud this year, and loud on-and-off for a decade.

Joe hopes the stunning photo by the legendary photographer helps shut them up for a day.

Above is a picture of Evans’ fourth-quarter touchdown catch aganst the Bills on Thursday night to pull the Bucs within one score of Buffalo. Look closely, the ball is on the helmet of Bills cornerback Christian Benford.

Evans is fully airborne and the too-short throw hits Benford in the dome while he’s running at full speed, yet Evans has the poise to stay focused and make the awkward catch midair. Joe’s photo angles show the catch was a lot tougher than it looked on TV. Most receivers would juggle that ball away for a drop.

A lot of fans want more from Evans, who is on pace for one of the biggest statistical seasons of his Hall of Fame career.

Joe sees Evans as a guy who gives everything he has, stays in great shape, and is willing to catch passes wherever the Bucs line him up. Joe only wishes the Bucs would lean on Evans more.

60 Responses to “The Off-The-Helmet Catch”

  1. power sweep Says:

    Great concentration and effort by Mike. Bad throw by Baker. The TD completion should go in Mike’s stat line. LOL.

  2. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    💩💩💩 Fire Todd Bowles 💩💩💩

  3. Marine Buc Says:

    Another example of how bad Mayfield is at throwing any pass longer than 10 yards.

    All his long throws are short or off target by several yards…

    I really hope we are able to move on from him after this season.

    One trick pony.

  4. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Throw ME13 the damn ball-ME is always open at 6-5 225 he will win the 50-50 balls. Best Bucs WR ever-sure will miss him.

  5. Ufcguy Says:

    Dude pulls himself out every play

  6. BucEmUp Says:

    Was at the game in Buffalo. Mike is one of my fave players of all time, kept my eyes watching him much of the time. While I will agree he needs more targets, and Canales needs to scheme him open and scheme more touches for him, something is still odd with Mike’s body language. He goes and sits alone in the same spot on the bench immediately after possessions and isn’t engaged with teammates. And it appears at times he is frustrated with Baker. The way he just runs off the field quickly and alone without talking to teammates when things aren’t going we’ll make it look like he’s saying to management “I’m just doing my job and focusing on me” and not on how to help the team win. Now that could be wrong but that’s the perception.

  7. A Bucs Fan Says:

    As long as he’s healthy he should get 15-20 targets a game at this point.

  8. K_bassuka Says:

    Evans is a true Buccaneer and would be putting pro bowl numbers if he had a decent QB throwing him the ball.

  9. Aaron Says:

    I love that ME just plays football – early in his career he’d complain when he didn’t get a call or didn’t get the ball. he’s been open a lot this year and while he might be frustrated – just plays football.

    I remember the days of the Bucs not having a true #1 receiver – hopefully, we can figure out a contract and get him signed!

    Go Bucs!

  10. Beej Says:

    Prime showed at least half a dozen plays where he was blanketed by some corner assigned to him. He’d have needed some sort of pick to happen there

  11. Buccos Says:

    Baker threw a catchable ball. Any WR worth a damn would have caught that pass. I say let Evans walk after this year. His contract has become a distraction. He is trending downward at this point of his career. If he can get one more big payday somewhere then let someone else over pay for him. He is currently the best Bucs WR in history. Thank you for your service ME13

  12. Tony Marks Says:

    Marine Buc Says:
    October 28th, 2023 at 9:30 am
    Another example of how bad Mayfield is at throwing any pass longer than 10 yards.


    Meh just the same ole griping from irrational traskite fan bois. The throw was fine and the picture PROVES it. The ball has not “bounced” yet and its right there going to mike’s hands. The glance did not change the trajectory much which is why Evans was still able to catch it. Best it could be a yard probably less to the left ( from Baker’s angle) and thats it. However with time running out and down two scores Baker had to take his shot even under pressure he had all game

    Soooo Good throw! Trask bois are just salty because it gave Baker a decent stat line to the night with ZERO Ints and the absolute bomb by Baker to end the game could and should have been caught for the win.

    Bye bye for the strong reason to replace baker based on Thursday – just added extra salt to the Traskite wounds.

  13. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Great catch with some luck involved.
    The luck part being that it didn’t hit him in the numbers or hands…….. we know what might have happened then don’t we?

    His attitude sucks and he needs to be traded.

  14. PSL Bob Says:

    The dude is rock solid. HOF material!

  15. power sweep Says:

    This is hilarious. When Trask threw a beautiful bomb TD pass in preseason the Bakettes claimed the pass was tipped by a defender and into the Bucs receiver’s arms, when the video clearly showed there was no tip by any defender. Now, here, the photo clearly shows the pass bouncing off the Bills defender’s helmet and yet Bakette Tony Marks is claiming the ball did not bounce off the helmet. What a dunce. LMAO.

  16. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Tony

    You are delusional or blind… Maybe both.

    I’m no Trask “fan boy”… I’m a Buc “fan boy”.

    This team isn’t going anywhere with Mayfield at QB and I doubt Trask will do much better but I’m ready to see a change made regardless.

  17. Obvious Says:

    I remember this throw vividly. The reason why it stuck out so strongly was Baker noticeably putting a touch on his throw. He was as controlled as he could possibly be. Very unnatural for his type of a throw but by God he meant to throw the best he could.

    So he put a very soft and controlled, slight rainbow type of throw. The result was it was short and bounced off the defenders noggin.

    With Mike being the talent that he is, he followed it through to the end and kept body control for the score.

    Baker was far off in this game. He had the presence of mind to realize that he needed to change up his throws. When all is right Baker can throw some dimes. Obviously all is not right. It was a very uncomfortable game for him. It’s confirmed to me that baker is indeed a smart guy. He realizes he isn’t throwing like he should and it seems to me he’s squinting as if he can’t quite see. That could be an actual problem or that could be a nervous tick. But he’s definitely squinting.

    Bakers issues are a “self” issue and he’s doubting himself and second guessing his initial decisions demonstrated by excessive double clutching.

    I’m hoping he can fix his issues. He a good guy. He worthy but is he capable of pulling it off without a lot of help from the rest of the “TEAM”

  18. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Tony

    The only thing the picture proves is the ball was once again thrown short and Mike Evans had to stop and come back for the ball rather than catching it 3-4 yards in the endzone…

  19. power sweep Says:

    Dear Bakettes,

    Click on my name above to see the video of the catch. Half way through the video is a slow motion replay from the end zone that 100% shows the ball hitting the helmet and deflecting to Evans. 100%.

  20. Knucknbuc Says:

    Lol wahhh mike body language I’d be pissed off to if I was tied for targets with freaking rakim jarret going into the fourth quarter. Not only that the baker booty bandits blame mike for his off target throws like the one in the first quarter on our first drive that baker airmailed about 5 yards away from mike that was 25+ yards. Obviously u can guess what happened two plays later penalty incomplete and punt

  21. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Anybody that thinks Mike has a bad attitude is just a Doosh.

  22. Tony Marks Says:

    power sweep Says:
    October 28th, 2023 at 10:22 am

    Tony Marks is claiming the ball did not bounce off the helmet. What a dunce. LMAO.


    LOL….. Wells since I am being called a dunce by verifiable dunces I don’t have to be diplomatic in my response

    To no surprise You are all a bunch of uneducated nitwits

    Go learn some basic physics. Basic Law of science

    For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    The ball in the shot is still on the helmet BEFORE it by physics moves away from it and anyone can see where Evans hands are

    So like I said and you Traskites cant understand – the ball could be a yard to the left to miss the defenders head sure but some way of pass is utter nonsense. its a good throw. passes are completed all the time over the shoulders of defenders and outstretched hands

    the idea the the ball BOINGED off the helmet and headed in a completely direction ( rather than just changed trajectory a bit) is what dunce caps believe because they don’t understand Basic physics

    Stay in school.

  23. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    The backup QB is always a fan favorite. Until he actually plays. Probably a reason Mr Trask was a healthy scratch 2 years running. Under 2 different head coaches. Good God, Bowles isn’t playing Mayfield and Rachaad White because he loves their personalities, they give him the best chance to win and keep his job

  24. DBS Says:

    Sorry. You Trask Bois keep bringing up preseason.1TD and a bunch of field goals each game. If he was that good he would have lit up the score board with 7’s. He had the same problem get it down there can’t get it in. I would like to see him start and see if anything changes. I have a feeling it won’t.

  25. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Buckeye

    “Mr Trask was a healthy scratch 2 years running.”

    Maybe Trask was a healthy scratch for two seasons because we had a guy named Tom Brady as our starting QB?


    All I am saying is – Trask looked better (more accurate) this preseason when throwing downfield (farther than 8-10 yards) than Mayfield.

    Fans have short term memories – Mayfield was run out of Cleveland for the same BS we are seeing now. Wide receivers don’t like running patterns downfield all game with a weak armed QB throwing the ball.

    No wonder Mike Evans is so aloof.

  26. Tony Marks Says:

    Marine Buc Says:
    October 28th, 2023 at 10:31 am
    @ Tony

    The only thing the picture proves is the ball was once again thrown short and Mike Evans had to stop and come back for the ball


    Go look at the film peewee power linked to. There no coming back to anything. Mike is falling backwards as he catches the ball. I would try to explain why its by physics impossible to fall back while “coming back” without being soundly hit but as has now been established Traskites skipped physics class to watch UF Practices.

  27. Paratrooper Buc Says:

    There should be more plays to Mike but he can only do so much. Mayfield can hit him but a qb is only as good as his Oline. People forgot when Mahomes broke records in the SB running more yards to throw the ball by 400+ because his Oline was horrible. I like mayfield and as a gator fan I would love to see Trask play. For me (just me), until our Oline improves (better players, better scheme, some luck, etc. ) there is no point discussing playoffs (we wouldn’t go far) or if we should get a better RB (they would be slightly better than white but still struggle with being hit under a yard from scrimmage) or change to Trask (who would be just as bad, if not worse with this Oline).

    Canales needs to scheme better. Oline needs to dramatically improve. Bowles needs to coach better.

    Let’s be honest it was nice for 4 weeks to think we had a good team. We have at best an ok team with luck and heart, at worst a bad team that needs a better Oline.

  28. Tony Marks Says:

    Marine Buc Says:
    October 28th, 2023 at 11:29 am

    Fans have short term memories – Mayfield was run out of Cleveland for the same BS we are seeing now.


    You don’t have any memories because you don’t know squat what you are talking about. Browns begged him to stay when Watson first said no to the Browns. He was the one that said bye to the fans through social media and refused to change his mind. Subsequent to that Deshaun changed his mind. Still He held out from camp until they traded him

    Go do some reading. Baker never flaked out at the Browns. Thats what ignoramous rant on social media because they don’t read news sites – Browns thought they could Get a top five QB in Deshaun and paid 230 million for him. IF your beloved Kyle ever gets off the pine and the bucs could get Mahomes would that mean the love of your life Flaskie flaked out? Nope . It s Mahomes. Browns thought they were getting similar talent and boy were they wrong .

    Currently Deshaun is ranked 24th in the league and Baker is ranked 16 and brownies are calling it the worse trade and contract ever for the Browns.

  29. ModHairKen Says:

    Anyone who wants to criticize Mike Evans can go to Hades.

  30. Duane in Sanford Says:

    Is it just me, or is ME13 beating dbs more often? What is underrated in this play is Mike’s ball skills-from a full speed run he does a turn around jumper to square his body up to make the catch. Great body control. Is he outrunning guys and getting separation?

  31. Duane in Sanford Says:

    Oh, and it would be cool if Baker gets those throws to Mike just a couple feet higher.

  32. Buccos Says:

    According to the Jets in preseason joint practices Mayfield has an elite arm. Trask does not have that kind of arm strength

  33. Beej Says:

    Most likely scenario in the not-too-distant future is Baker has a concussion after some run, is not allowed to play following week, then Trask will get his big chance. When Trask is sacked 7x by our below -average line (likelihood made worse by the fact any defense will blitz a new guy) his fans will blame Canales for not scheming correctly

  34. Sly Pirate Says:

    Joe is perpetually annoyed by the Mike Evans naysayers that have been loud this year, and loud on-and-off for a decade.

    2 articles on Evans dropping key passes that changed the games in Philly and Detroit.

    Joe published Ian Beckles opinion in the offseason about Evans losing a step. You agreed with him.

    Darn internet. BTW, none of the articles were wrong.

  35. Mike S Says:

    Buccos seen plenty of mustard on Trask throws. Need to see it in a reg season game.

  36. Mike S Says:

    Beej if that happens then it happens. Trask was never given a chance to get PT reps. I think he’ll fare better than that however.

  37. Beej Says:

    If Trask kicks arse, we’re set for a decade. Also, he’s still on rookie contract for NEXT year also

  38. ATLBuc Says:

    As a high school, college and semi professional receiver I can say without a doubt the hardest pass to catch is a deflected ball. The receiver is focused in on the ball and all of a sudden the ball changes trajectory. What’s more amazing about this catch is that the player who caused the deflection was so close to Evans, who had a fraction of a second to adjust to the ball and make the catch.

  39. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Good think I’m a Dooosh.
    It’s the classical phonetic spelling.

    ME13 is a whining biotch.

  40. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Tony

    I have watched plenty of film this season. I re-watch every game on NFL Game Pass…

    Why don’t you watch the Lions game – Mayfield missed at least 4 downfield throws that game – if completed those plays would have changed the game.

    But sadly Mayfield sucks at throwing anything longer than 12 yards.

    You can continue to waste your time defending him. This season is circling the toilet and Baker is one of the reasons for that…

  41. AtlBuc Says:

    BucEmUp Says:
    October 28th, 2023 at 9:40 am
    ….. And it appears at times he is frustrated with Baker. ….

    Of course he’s frustrated. He has NFL Career records at stake and they’re being threatened because of politics. He’s was in training camp and in preseason games and witnessed firsthand Trask outplay Mayfield only to see Mayfield named as the starter. He sees Mayfield not even look in his direction on multiple plays. He has seen Mayfield drag this team from 2-0 to 3-4. I even saw Evans open on the out route numerous times during the game and more on all 22. He has a right to be frustrated and if the Bucs make him miss out on records or end record streaks, by continually starting the inept Mayfield, he should demand a trade

  42. Marine Buc Says:

    @ AtlBuc

    I don’t think it was a coincidence that Evans started demanding a new contract around the same time Mayfield was named the starting QB.

    Mike Evans knows Mayfield sucks at throwing the ball farther than 10 yards and this was going to hamper his stats this season.

  43. AtlBuc Says:

    Marine. I hadn’t thought about that but it is coincidental. Evans is not a pouter but I think he’s frustrated knowing there’s a better QB on the bench. I think its starting to affect the efforts of other players, too.

  44. Mark clements Says:

    Love this site , visit every day. give the offense some time,took Brady 10 games to get going. We need to draft a bad ass center in next year’s draft.And get a running game, last year proved even Brady could not win without a running game.Thank you Joe’s for this site.

  45. Tony Marks Says:

    Marine Buc Says:
    October 28th, 2023 at 1:30 pm
    @ Tony

    I have watched plenty of film this season


    NO one needs to care what you watch. You watch with Trask eyeglasses .

    Example – Take the alleged misses of Palmer deep a few games ago all the Traskites were blaring about. . Anyone and his one eyed dog can see Palmer pull up on one of them looking back too soon. Traskites glasses see it? nah didn’t see that . This is why Bowles said THEY need to get timing and will work it out. The classic objection to such Bowles statements by Traskite underscores why Traskites have no credibility to non-Traskites.

    Traskites persist with the drop down stupid argument that an NFL coach is putting his job at risk by making excuses for Baker and that Trask head and shoulder beat out Baker but Bowles put the inferior QB out so he could lose his job. Now you personally are trying to float Evan’s agent only wanted a contract IN HIS FINAL year because of Baker

    LOL…..Silliness Cubed

    Tip to Traskites going forward – Stick to reasonable arguments and stop. You have ONE good argument and then all the others are just silly like above. Wanting to see what Trask can do is rational. Problem one is it makes ZERO sense for Bowles whose concerned with his Job and he makes the call. Problem two is it doesn’t take an entire season to see a guy that you also see in practice to evaluate him.

    With the way baker plays he is almost certain to miss games. Traskites never had to root for their own team to lose on the national stage 40+ to 3 or now wish Baker gets killed by oline issues when rushed. The fact that you as group went to those lows earns forever disrepect as alleged fans. UF QB fan bois don’t get brownie points toward Buc Fanhood.

    Lest you try and spin it – None of this denies Baker sometimes misses –

    Welcome to the post Brady world. Call me when Trasks plays anywhere in the NFL for a year and doesn’t.

  46. AtlBuc Says:

    Tony Marks say: Bowles put the inferior QB out so he could lose his job

    He did put the inferior QB out and he is on course to lose his job. LOL!

  47. Joe Says:

    Mark clements:

    Thank you for the kind words! Appreciate the support.

  48. AtlBuc Says:

    He did put the inferior QB out and he is on course to lose his job. LOL! And if Mayfield remains the starting QB he will without a doubt lose his job.

    I can’t say what other posters think but from the time Baker was named starter I supported and rooted for him. If he continues to start I will continue to root for him to do well. And I never wish for a player to get hurt, not even on the other team.
    On the other hand, anyone pulling for Mayfield to continue starting, in the midst of a 4 out of 5 game losing streak, doesn’t care about this team and are only Baker Mayfield fans.

  49. unbelievable Says:

    1000% Joe.

    The “naysayers” are just clueless idiots.

    What is frustrating is watching Mayfield continuously miss open guys, unable to see the whole field. Mike Evans was running WIDE ARSE OPEN ALL NIGHT LONG against the Bills. Yet he only had 6 targets the entire night, 2 of which were not even remotely close to being accurate or near him. He’s the still the best offensive weapon we have, even at age 30.

  50. Rod Munch Says:

    Anyone trashing Evans is literally a retard. Not much else needs to be said.

  51. Tony Marks Says:

    AtlBuc Says:
    October 28th, 2023 at 3:33 pm

    I can’t say what other posters think but from the time Baker was named starter I supported and rooted for him.


    You think I didn’t read this blog for weeks before I commented? You are spouting the same nonsense you did weeks ago – no “supporting” anything unless you have a strange dictionary..

    “On the other hand, anyone pulling for Mayfield to continue starting, in the midst of a 4 out of 5 game losing streak, doesn’t care about this team and are only Baker Mayfield fans.”

    Sure because in the NFL we all know that if you are losing what rights the ship is replacing the Number 16 rated QB for a player with Career Totals
    of – Drumroll –

    3 completions in three years
    completion ratio of 33%
    zero Tds
    and a driving down the field total of 23 yards

    Guaranteed instant winning baby

    You Da man of Logic there!

  52. WyomingJoe Says:

    @Tony Marks: Loved your take on the Baker throw to Evans and your “stay in school” comment. You’re absolutely correct. Traskites beware. Stay strong, these bois are pathetic.

  53. AtlBuc Says:

    I supported him until this current losing streak. Enough is enough

  54. DBS Says:

    Mike S you are full of Sh!t. Trask was rotated with Baker in the preseason training camp. It was even in the camp notes Joe wrote. See now you are making excuses already.

  55. Tony Marks Says:

    AtlBuc Says:
    October 28th, 2023 at 4:18 pm
    Enough is enough


    Give it a break

    Tip of the day. before you go online trying to paint some fake narrative of yourself make sure your tag line is not easily searchable. Turns out “ATLBUC says” is very searchable

    Data shows you hating on baker in favor of trask FROM MAY all through preseason. Anyone can look it up. Like many Traskites you were FORCED for maybe two weeks to say Baker was playing well in september but trying to pretend that you are some supporter of Baker worn out from your support by october is all just fake.

    For Traskites such as yourself this is not a royal flush to do with breaking any losing streak this season and its easy to see. You know why? Not a single time has anyone said if Trask can’t turn us around or sucks then go to Wolford or back to Baker . You all contend if Trask isn’t ready it doesn’t matter he should play through no matter how many losses.
    Whatever the rationale that is it doesn’t have a darn thing to do with breaking a losing streak this season. Stop the cap. Additionally Traskites gave themselves away by stating multiple times they didn’t want To play Trask on Thursday (because they knew it would make him look bad and didn’t expect to win regardless).



  56. power sweep Says:

    @Tony Marks a/k/a Baker’s Agent

    Click on my name above to see the video of the catch. At 00:17 of the video is a slow motion replay of the catch from the end zone angle. It clearly shows the ball FIRST hitting the helmet of the Bills defender AND THEN deflecting toward Evans. Man, you’re one sorry excuse for a Bucs fan.

  57. TB bolts Says:

    3 Ls in a row tony. Keep betting on a losing horse.

  58. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Just throw he the damn ball and good things usually happen

  59. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    When ME13 is thrown a 50/50 ball or there’s a play like the one here, he’s 100% focused and makes the play more often than not. It’s the easier ones where he doesn’t seem as focused and leads to some drops or low-effort.

    He’s not a “drop machine”. He’s a tremendous receiver in every aspect except maybe focus on the “Gimme balls”. I think that’s the main reason some “fans” get frustrated with him. I wouldn’t trade the dude for any other receiver out there, even though there are some who may have an edge in speed, route running, etc.

    Game on the line in the red zone, I’ll take Evans all day every day

  60. Oz Len Says:

    For the sake of argument, and to rebut the incel Trask fans (Mike S.). If you look at that photo you can see that if Evans was on the ground that ball would have hit him in the face. The Buffalo player in the picture was at least 20 feet away when the ball was thrown. Ball placement in an end zone situation is iffy at best. The only clean way to make that pass is for the receiver to be wide a$$ open. You can criticize Mayfield but the truth is most quarterbacks wouldn’t risk that throw. That in a nutshell is Baker Mayfield, higher risk, higher reward and sometimes a failure. A conservative QB might have just dumped the pass and we would be talking about how the “macilent assassin, Trask” (Mike S.’ words) pulled the pass down to live for another play.