Three things seem certain in life: Death, taxes, and Mike Evans fighting Marshon Lattimore whenever the Bucs and Saints play. In back-to-back seasons at least one of the two matchups between Tampa Bay and New Orleans has featured a fight that resulted in Evans and Lattimore being ejected, and the beef goes all the way back to 2017 and an incident that also saw the duo ejected.
Unlike the lore that has been built up — and frankly hyped up by the media — it’s not an every matchup occurrence. Still, the two have gotten into it a frequently enough that it’s a genuine concern each time these teams play that Evans might not finish the game.
It’s usually never good to lose your best player to something as dumb as an ejection for fighting, but it could prove particularly fatal this time around. Evans was dialed by in the first two weeks of the season when the Bucs offense needed a spark. He scored a touchdown before halftime of Week 1 which allowed Baker Mayfield and the offense to settle in, and the same thing happened after a sluggish start the following Sunday.
When that doesn’t happen, and Evans struggles, the rest of the offense follows suit. Evans dropped three critical passes — including a touchdown — on Monday night, and unsurprisingly the offense never really got going. It wasn’t until he a drive in the fourth quarter that he started making the type of impactful catches we’re used to seeing that the offense started to groove.
It was too little too late against the Eagles, and we were given an ugly dose of how bad the offense can look when Evans isn’t a factor. If he gets himself kicked out of Sunday’s game, or allowed Lattimore to get in his head and disrupt his flow, it’s going to be bad news for the rest of the offense.