With just one game remaining in the 2018 season, Buccaneers receiver Chris Godwin will attempt to break out of his recent three-game slump.
The Buccaneer offense came screaming out of the gate with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm. They roasted the Saints, Eagles, and Steelers defenses, but it was mostly the trio of Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and O.J. Howard getting the love.
Quietly, Godwin scored touchdowns in all three games and averaged over 10 yards per catch.
By now Godwin is probably used to being under the radar. He was drafted comically late in the 2017 draft behind receivers that he was more talented than.
As a rookie, he performed as well or better than draftmates John Ross, Corey Davis, and Mike Williams, all selected in the first round, and yet each of them entered this year with more hype behind them than Godwin.
The four players improved drastically in their second seasons, but despite fewer opportunities, Godwin once again outshined his fellow second-year receivers. As it stands with one game remaining, Godwin has caught 53 catches for 728 yards and five touchdowns.
Those numbers would be significantly better if not for a late-season slump that Godwin has been struggling through.
Godwin had one of his best games of the season on December 2nd against the Panthers when he caught five passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. In the three games that followed, however, he had just four catches for 52 yards and zero touchdowns, including a doughnut against the Ravens (and a dropped touchdown on the first play from scrimmage).
Godwin’s slump has been a combination of poor play on his part, extremely tough competition against the Saints, Ravens, and Cowboys, and pure bad luck.
Fortunately for Godwin, the Atlanta Falcons present a good chance for him to break out and finish the 2018 season on a high note.
Ravaged by injuries and a tough schedule, the Falcon defense has surrendered the eighth most passing yards per game this year (somehow worse than the Buccaneer defense, for reference.) If you played fantasy football this year, you eagerly anticipated weeks when your receivers faced the Falcons.
With DeSean Jackson likely to sit with an Achilles injury, Godwin will get the start this week and have ample opportunities through snaps and routes run to finish 2018 with a bang and make his three-game skid a distant memory.
When these two teams faced off in October, Godwin caught six passes for 56 yards and a touchdown, while still firmly behind Evans, Howard, and Jackson in the pecking order. With two of those names on the bench with an injury, Godwin is in a much better position this time around.
If Godwin can successfully cap off the season it would make two-week seventeens in a row; last season in the finale against the Saints, the then-rookie had a season-best performance, catching seven passes for 111 yards and the game-winning touchdown.