The Buccaneers were nowhere to be found when the PFWA released their awards for the 2018 season. Should a Buc have been included?
The Pro Football Writers of America did not name a single Tampa Bay Buccaneers player to their ALL-NFL, All-NFC or All-Rookie teams.
The player with the best shot of receiving an honor like this would have been wide receiver, Mike Evans. He caught 86 passes for 1,524 yards and eight touchdowns. It was arguably Evans’ best season as a Buccaneer.
He held the third-highest yards per catch average in the NFL with an impressive 17.7 mark. Evans doesn’t have the reputation of a deep threat, but both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston had success getting him the ball downfield.
Despite the tremendous season, Evans’ performance was overshadowed by a pair of receivers who also call the NFC South home. Atlanta’s Julio Jones and New Orleans’ Michael Thomas took home the All-NFC nod over Evans.
It’s hard to argue against the writers’ choices here. Thomas led the NFL with 125 receptions, and Jones topped Evans in both yards and receptions.
Remember, Evans is only 25 years old and should be in the mix for All-Pro nods for years to come. In this case, he was great, but other players were just a little bit better.
There’s no doubt that Evans was a snub for the Pro Bowl, but not for the PFWA All-NFL or conference honors.
On the defensive side of the ball, no Buccaneer should have even sniffed the ballot. Jason Pierre-Paul had a nice season, as did Lavonte David, but they were nowhere near the level of the names who made the teams.
As for Tampa Bay’s rookies, a late run from Vita Vea wasn’t enough to earn him a nod. Neither was the solid play from safety Jordan Whitehead, who had to battle with talented safeties like Derwin James at his position.
The key for Tampa Bay to have players to get honored in this way would be to win games. Even if a player was having a phenomenal season like Evans, he is on a losing team, a forgotten team.
Hopefully, Bruce Arians can begin to bring the Buccaneers back to relevancy. And bring the players back into the national spotlight.