When the Buccaneers take the field Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, look for two players to light things up.
First, Mike Evans needs a catchup game. After playing against Dallas mostly as a decoy, it’s time to pay Evans back for accepting the way things rolled last game. Don’t think anyone on the Buccaneers isn’t aware that Evans needs to be back to hauling in passes and scoring ToDdys, to coin Gronk’s terminology.
No one will be surprised to see him eclipse the century mark and nab a pair of red zone touchdowns. Might as well fire the cannons right now, no sense in wearing them out on Sunday. Evans has been the top receiver in Tampa for seven years, setting the NFL record for consecutive thousand-yard seasons. He needs to get back on the cycle so he can get season eight out of the way.
The question is whether Evans is indeed the Numero Uno on the Buccaneers squad. And the simple answer is; he is until someone starts beating him out on receptions and yards. Is there anyone who can do it? Yes, actually, the other two wideouts adorning the Buccaneer’s starting roster.
No question at all that Antonio Brown can’t take over the lead. He has done it before, and after the Dallas game, he seems primed to get right back in the groove. And then there’s Chris Godwin. Godwin actually has given Mike a run for his money at times. But somehow, racking up seven straight 1,000-yard seasons is hard to top. But Godwin, make no mistake, is easily capable of ending the season as the top receiver.
On the other side of the offense, you have Ronald Jones. Jones had such a bad week last week that he sat on the bench with a towel over his head. He knows what it means to drop the football, and no one on the team takes it more to heart. But he’s a pro and he’s aware those things happen. Make no mistake, that fumble will instill some drive in the third-year running back. Watch for him to take off in this week’s game as he gets the start.
The O-line is aware that they need to pop some holes so our running backs have a chance to break loose. It’s a point that Donovan Smith was making in interviews this week, and the line certainly has the talent to make it happen. Besides registering another game with no sacks, the fearsome five need to get it done in the running game.
However things turn out, don’t be surprised to see both Evans and Jones putting up some good numbers this Sunday.
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