Todd Bowles: Atlanta Defense Allowed Chris Godwin To Be Targeted

December 11th, 2023

Atlanta defensive players and Bucs head coach Todd Bowles explain.

Joe asked Baker Mayfield if he targeted Chris Godwin more this week as a result of “GodwinGate” — Godwin’s wife trashing Bucs head coach Todd Bowles on Instagram last week.

Mayfield flatly said that was no factor.

Bowles said it was Atlanta’s defense that allowed the Bucs to target Godwin.

“[Atlanta] made sure they were trying to take [Mike Evans] out of the game,” Bowles said. “[in games they’ve] made it a priority, so that allows us to run the ball more.

“It [also] allowed Chris to get involved more. It allowed Cade [Otton] to get some plays and Rachaad [White] made some plays. If they’re hell-bent on taking Mike away, we have to make sure we beat them in other areas.”

Bowles isn’t blowing smoke here. Dixie Chicks corner Clark Phillips pretty much admitted Atlanta sold out to take Evans out.

“Yeah, it was a big thing,” Phillips said. “We knew that we needed to take that guy away. He’s a great, he’s a great player, and he’s done some great things over the last 10 years.

“We’ve been seeing the stat line, so we definitely knew we needed to neutralize him.”

Said Atlanta safety Jessie Bates, “A Hall of Fame-type receiver, so sometimes you have to roll to him. That’s what we did. We did a good job of that.”

Regardless if you believe the Bucs subconsciously forced the ball to Godwin as a result of last week’s needed and welcomed drama, Godwin got targeted 10 timeds, enough to make a clutch play when the Bucs needed it the most.

29 Responses to “Todd Bowles: Atlanta Defense Allowed Chris Godwin To Be Targeted”

  1. Boss Says:

    I don’t know why D’s even cover mike early in games

    they should leave him free on the 1st play from scrimmage.

    30 yard deep throw hit’s him in the numbers…… you know how that ends.

  2. Jack Clark Says:

    Boss Says:
    December 11th, 2023 at 1:13 pm
    I don’t know why D’s even cover mike early in games they should leave him free on the 1st play from scrimmage. 30 yard deep throw hit’s him in the numbers…… you know how that ends.

    Ended with 7 catches for 162 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers.

  3. stpetebucfan Says:


    LMAO way to trigger the truth averse crowd here!

  4. Boss Says:

    it was the kitties

    ya know the ones that just got beat by the CFL transgender division champions!

  5. Popcorn Mike Says:

    That’s the way things should be, if you double Evans then Godwin and the tight end should open and take over. The same vise versus This is what winning teams do. Mayfield do need to get a little better with his throws to his WRs and not holding the ball so long. One positive thing about holding the ball to long is, the OL has to be doing a decent job for him to do so

  6. Buddha Says:

    Forerly called Football Outsiders, the stats freaks who created DVOA now project that the Buccaneers have a 43% chance to win the Division, New Orleans, a 32% chance, and Atlanta at 25%. Atlanta has three games on the road. Hard to see them winning all three. Also they have significant injury issues on the offnsive line that showed yesterday. If we win one of the two games, either at Green Bay or at home against Jacksonville, and beat New Orleans, that would do it.

    Question: where are all the guys who picked us to win 3 or at most 4 or 5 games? The fact nobody wants to discuss is that as bad as he seems, Bowles actually has outperformed expectations of the national press. I recall, a number of guys saying they were loading up on Buccaneers UNDER 6 wins. Only Joe had the guts to say he was doing the opposite! Kudos Joe.

  7. Tony Marks Says:

    Its Palmer time

    Opposing teams now are alerted ( because of Mariah) they have to cover Godwin and Evans tightly AND they have to deal with a team that has a LITTLE running respect.

    I’m ready to eat humble pie – maybe fans don’t know as much as they think they know because right now it looks like Canales sticking with the running game – can’t believe I am writing this – might be working.

    Yikes really can’t believe I am writing this either – there was a span of time on that last drive when the bucs looked like a power run team!

    IF the rook can step up when his number is called for more than runs and sweeps it would be a fantastic time for a speedster to become a real threat and spread the field making this an entirely different offense

  8. MCWAY Says:

    I’m more concerned about the defense. This is at least the 4th time the Bucs have shut the opponent’s offense down the first half, only to get lit up in the second half. Houston, Indy, Carolina, Atlanta.

  9. Tony Marks Says:

    MCWAY Says:
    December 11th, 2023 at 3:08 pm
    I’m more concerned about the defense.


    Yep especially the corners. If not for that continued weakness I could see us winning out the rest of the games

  10. Fansince76 Says:

    Godwin is a great receiver who has been under utilized this year and getting him the ball so he can also get a 1000 yds this season should be a priority of Baker.

  11. Popcorn Mike Says:

    MCWAY/Tony Mark, the defense has gotten me concerned also. They’re giving up a lot of yards to rookies and QBs with little NFL experience. Not only the secondary but no pressure up front, although when they sat Hall and JTS the pressure got a little better up front

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What concerns me is opposing WRs seem to get wide open on us with deep passes……this should not be happening with the soft cushions we use.

    That last series was like Houston…….no pressure on the QB and he ate us up and almost beat us with 30 seconds.

    I just don’t like that defense……..we know he’s going to throw so go after him.

    It doesn’t seem to matter how many deep we have….they get open.

  13. SB~LV Says:

    Blah blah blah …

  14. Beeej Says:

    That’s because WE play zone (or try to) and THEY play close man. We need a safety to replace Neal who doesn’t have those limitations

  15. HC Grover Says:

    Pipe down and beat the Pack.

  16. Beeej Says:

    Why is it we always go to GB in December?

  17. Davenport Says:

    Todd: ATL may have given you the opportunity to throw to Godwin BUT his wife made you do it.

    This was not a coincidence.

  18. A Bucs Fan Says:

    After watching the game I saw Atlanta basically played quarters coverage and bracketed/doubled Mike all game and CG more than half the time. The only option to throw it to was Rachaad underneath. Receivers weren’t open and when they were Baker missed a few throws pretty badly too. It’s why the Bucs ran so much. Bucs sorely miss a productive TE. Now I know Otton had one big play in the end of the game but a beastly TE would have changed that game big time. I don’t see one in this draft ( I am not especially high on bowers). Hopefully moving forward teams respect the run game a little more after Rachaad and Edmonds performance to give the pass game more opportunities.

    This Bucs team still looks mediocre to below average at times, but to follow very recent trends how great would it be if the Bucs won the division and beat the iggles in the first round of the playoffs?

  19. Glass (almost) Half Full Guy Says:

    Not sure if anyone else noticed, but early in the 2nd quarter, after Mayfield hit Godwin with a screen pass to the right side for a minimal gain, he was really out of breath in the huddle right after that. Probably nothing but it really jumped out at me watching him pant in the huddle and the rest of the O wasn’t. Just wondering if his knee has been limiting him in practice and it’s affecting his conditioning.

  20. Beeej Says:

    Was Otton running patterns or staying home and blocking?

  21. Weebs10 Says:

    Joe, what was up with the play where Mike and Chris ran the exact same post route like two feet apart? What an ugly play design, or did one of them blow their assignment on that one?

  22. Lakeland Steve Says:

    It just seems with a little bit better play calling the Bucs could have made things a lot easier on themselves. Too many first down runs and very little play action on first down. Hopefully they can learn something before they play Green Bay.

  23. Dave Pear Says:

    Anyone hoping for the Bucs to get better by now, or believing they can win a game against a good QB, is forgetting who the Bucs chronic losing head coach is. One of Todd’s obvious philosophies is to avoid stepping on an opponents neck. Here were two games where whatever dogs were starting to run, he called them off to turtle. No wonder Brady had enough.

  24. stpetebucfan Says:


    “Anyone HOPING for the Bucs to get better by now,”

    Yeah that’s the ticket. Give up hope!!! Are you going to even bother watching anymore games Dave. Do you enjoy being HOPELESS?

  25. Larrd Says:

    Bowers would be great in the draft but I doubt he’d be there unless the Bucs lose out. Odunze, too, but Nabers or Ebuka could make the offense dangerous, assuming they also re-sign Evans and the line keeps getting better.

  26. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Probably a little of both. Rolling double coverage to Evans gives everyone else a hole to find in the coverage. They could use a true #3 WR. Palmer is decent to sub in but seems like one of those guys who needs some time to acclimate to the pros

  27. garro Says:

    Ahh yes …was waiting for more of Todds BS.
    Now it’s Canales turn to spout some inane platitudes.

    Chris was blocking his ass off Sunday if anyone cares BTW.

    Go Bucs!

  28. BucU Says:

    God I despise this coaching staff with a passion.

  29. TDavis Says:

    Joe please help me out here. This is a serious reporting question. What is the goal when reporters ask questions like these? Like you know they can’t say, “Why yes, we heard Mariah loud and clear and realized we had this all messed up, so we made sure to target him more.” Is it just to be able to print the denial? To make the person being asked uncomfortable? Something else?