With less than an hour left until kickoff, we figured we should send out a friendly warning to the Atlanta Falcons regarding Mike Evans.
Mike Evans is the best offensive player in the history of the Buccaneers franchise. This team has rarely been known for its offensive prowess during the years, but that stigma has changed with Evans on the team.
Evans is the most outstanding offensive player for the Buccaneers ever for many reasons that go beyond stats. Sure he is on pace to set records with more quarterbacks and head coaches than seasons played, but Evans has always been more than that. Mike Evans is a leader and a shining example of loyalty that goes beyond conventional wisdom, and today he will get his due.
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Evans has overcome a dysfunctional franchise, poor coaching, injuries, and more turnover than almost any of the other top receivers in the NFL right now. How many different starting quarterbacks has Julio Jones caught passes from? Or Davante Adams? DeAndre Hopkins may be the only other option that has experienced the same uphill battle as Evans, and that is why they are in a league of their own.
Today, all of the perseverance, sticking with the team, and hard work culminates into something special. The Atlanta secondary is the only thing standing between Evans and an NFL record. It’s a great day not to be a defensive back.
The best part about Evans is that he has never been about himself. When he wasn’t getting sufficient targets at the start of the season, what did he do? He was often the first player in the end zone celebrating with his teammates. When the Bucs finished with another losing season, was there ever talk of jumping ship? Never.
Mike Evans has been one of the best team-focused players in the NFL for a while now, which makes today’s potential all the better.
In making this season about the team, Evans has galvanized the entire Tampa Bay roster around him. Even Bruce Arians, who isn’t usually the type of coach to care about this, is making it a priority to get Evans this record.
This singular focus from the Buccaneer offense could spell disaster for the Atlanta secondary. Forty yards is a walk in the park for Evans, who has accomplished more than that in a quarter of a game while limping.
As one of the most physically dominant receivers in the NFL, the thought that Evans could easily get more than ten targets today should have kept the Atlanta secondary from sleeping for the better part of the week. Everyone on the planet knows where the ball is going, and Evans is daring an entire defense to stop him.
Regardless of records, this season is the crowning achievement so far for Evans’ career. A trip to the playoffs has always been the baseline of what he deserves for his effort in Tampa Bay, and the record being within reach is a nice added bonus.
Record or not, Evans is the focus today, and there is very little anyone can do to take that away from him.
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