If Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans keeps up his historic pace, he will join company that can only be described as the best of the best. It would no doubt secure the Buccaneers great’s spot in Canton if he doesn’t have one already.
Mike Evans has already made NFL history by having arguably the greatest statistical start to a career a wide receiver has ever had. In today’s fantasy football and analytics-crazed society we find ourselves living in with the NFL, and sports in general, that should speak volumes considering how much we look at numbers.
Evans is the first, and only, player in NFL history to start his career with eight consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. That is certified lunacy if you really stop to think about it. His eight total 1,000-yard seasons for his career are currently tied with Torry Holt, Brandon Marshall, Marvin Harrison, Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Largent, Reggie Wayne, Chris Carter, Issac Bruce, and Steve Smith. For those keeping score at home, that’s four Hall of Famers out of those nine names mentioned. The thing is though, those eight seasons were for the entirety of their respective legendary careers. Evans has only played eight seasons TOTAL and is already lumped in with those gridiron greats.
Should Evans get another 1,000-yard season this year with the Buccaneers, and he not only extends his streak, but he also joins even greater company.
Evans reaching the 1,000-yard mark for the ninth time would tie him for third-most in NFL history with Tim Brown, Terrell Owens, and Jimmy Smith. Two of those players are already in Canton (Brown being a former Bucs wideout), and while Smith isn’t at the top of anyone’s Hall of Fame ballots, it begs the question if he should get more consideration.
Again though, the incredible thing is Brown played 17 seasons, Owens 15, and Smith 14. It took them that many seasons to reach 1,000 yards nine times, and Evans can do it in nine. Granted, the passing game has exploded more and more each year, and Evans does get to catch balls from Tom Brady, but that certainly wasn’t the case at the start of his career.
Randy Moss currently sits alone in second place with ten 1,000-yard campaigns, and to the surprise of nobody, Jerry Rice is at the top of the mountain with 14 of them. Rice’s records always seem insurmountable, but with the pace, Evans is going, anything is possible.
Mike Evans is the greatest receiver in the history of the Buccaneers, and if his numbers of any indication, one of the greatest to lace up a pair of cleats. Fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been lucky to watch someone make it look so easy to be so great.