With the absence of Mike Evans, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look to rookie Chris Godwin to make up for some of the lost production.
This season certainly hasn’t gone according to plan for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now, they take on the surprise New York Jets led by former Bucs quarterback Josh McCown in a game where they will be without quarterback Jameis Winston and star receiver Mike Evans. In order to make up for some of the lost production they will have to turn to rookie third-round pick Chris Godwin.
Godwin has played sparingly thus far but will be thrust into the limelight during Evans’ suspension. As we discussed on this week’s Walking The Plank Podcast, Godwin is no stranger to big games or spotlights and his chemistry with Ryan Fitzpatrick may come into play during this game.
Godwin and Fitz have practiced with one another all off-season and throughout the regular season with the second team. They have a trust, a rapport, and a chemistry that Fitz isn’t going to have with DeSean Jackson or Adam Humphries.
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That’s not to say those players won’t get their targets, but we’ve seen plenty of times where a backup quarterback has entered a game and all of a sudden the number three or four or five receiver becomes the leading receiver of the day because said backup leans on them.
I believe that will be the case for Godwin.
He may not finish as the leading receiver in terms of yards – I do believe Fitz hits DJax on at least one deep ball, maybe more – but I believe he will see the most targets and potentially end with the most receptions in the game. It will be vital to have a guy Fitz trusts making plays in this game since the Buccaneers no longer have an elite receiver on the field to create a mismatch against the secondary.
Another player to keep an eye on is O.J. Howard for the exact same reasons. Howard runs with the second team quite a bit and may become more of a third-down security blanket for Fitzpatrick than Cameron Brate is.