No one would be happier to see Jameis Winston return on Sunday afternoon than Mike Evans. He has still put up respectable performances with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, sure. But something seems off, as the two aren’t connecting the way that Evans does with Winston. Tampa Bay’s offense didn’t take off as expected earlier in the year, but maybe, just maybe, a fully healthy Winston could change that. If he does return, look for Evans to step up in a big way.
It’s funny that this is being called a down year for the fourth-year receiver. He still has a 51 catches on 95 targets for 702 yards and four touchdowns- all team highs. His yards after catch are still impressive as usual. But even still, something seems off. Maybe it’s just a few poorly-timed drops that have his season looking unimpressive. Maybe it’s been the lack of consistency at the quarterback position. Or, maybe it’s the fact that there are more weapons to spread targets to. Regardless, Evans isn’t producing at the level that he’s used to. He doesn’t have a 100-yard receiving game since last November. Could that change this Sunday?
Green Bay has the 24th-best pass defense in the NFL. If that’s not a secondary that the Bucs can exploit, then they have some serious issues. The Packers, as far as rankings go, have the worst pass defense that the Bucs will see for the rest of the year. Whether it’s Fitzpatrick or Winston getting the start, the passing game needs to be a focus. That becomes especially the case if Doug Martin is out. And, as he has for four years now, Evans will have to lead that aspect of the Tampa Bay offense.