Facing a team where he hasn’t seen too much success, Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans needs to have a big day if the Bucs are going to play spoiler.
There’s no DeSean Jackson. There’s no O.J. Howard. With shades of the 2016 Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense, it should be the Mike Evans show today. Evans has had difficulties against the Panthers throughout his career, so it’s time for him to have a breakout game.
Evans is having a disappointing season, for sure. He is currently sitting at 60 receptions for 839 yards and five touchdowns. This has him poised for his career low in receiving yards – he’s had over 1,000 in each of his first three seasons. His career low in receptions is 68 while his career touchdown low is three.
Against the Panthers, he’s played in seven games with 30 receptions, 395 yards, and three touchdowns. Don’t forget, he also was ejected from a game against the Panthers in 2015.
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With the weapons on offense now somewhat limited – at least compared to what they normally are – Evans will be the focal point of the passing game once again. We saw him be effective Monday night against the Falcons, so if Jameis Winston can get on the same page with Evans, which seems to have been a bit of an issue this year, Evans could have a big game.
This is a chance for Evans to have his first career 100 yard game against a division rival in which he has not done so before. His career high against the Panthers is 99 yards, but also has games of 60, 65, 89, 32, 13, and 37. Time to unleash the Evans we all know and view as a top tier receiver against the defense that has had little to no problem shutting him down.
At this point, the Bucs are playing for pure pride. This season has been a complete disaster from the word “go” and it’s on the future, foundational players to be spoilers and give the fans – and potential future head coach – reasons for optimism. Having your top receiver and your franchise quarterback show flashes of their 2016 connection is a solid start in doing so.
The Buccaneers and Panthers kick off at 1:00 p.m. EST on FOX