1. WR Mike Evans
Here's the thing about Evans this week – he is on the cusp of making history in MULTIPLE ways if he has anything close to the games he's had as of late. For instance, if he posts 175 or more receiving yards (as he's done the past two games), he'll be the first player in NFL history to accomplish that feat in three consecutive games. NFL history, guys. Should he get a slightly less 158 yards, he'll surpass 1,000 receiving yards this season. In Week 10, that's impressive enough. Throw in the fact that it would be Evans' sixth-consecutive 1,000-yard season and now he's in the company of just Randy Moss as the only players to start their career with six such seasons. Insane.
Do I think these milestones will happen for Evans, who currently leads the league with seven receiving touchdowns and ranks second in overall yards behind the Saints' Michael Thomas?
I want them to happen this week. But Head Coach Bruce Arians said that he fully expects veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson to act as Evans' shadow on Sunday – just as he did with Thomas and Detroit's Golden Tate. To be fair, Peterson wasn't exactly pleased with his performances against those two. Thomas caught all 11 passes thrown his way for 112 yards. Tate had six catches for 80 yards. But neither of those numbers are in the realm of 150+.
Then again, it is Mike Evans, and he's fun to watch either way.
2. WR Chris Godwin
Here's the guy I think could get most of the receiving work this week. With Peterson preoccupied on Evans, it's going to leave Godwin to run free all over the field. He's due for a big game himself. After having three straight triple-digit games between Weeks 4-6, he had 43 yards in Tennessee and 61 in Seattle. He's still on pace for 1,532 yards this season and 108 catches, though. So, don't feel too bad for him.
The Cardinals rank 29th in passing defense, letting up over 280 yards per game through the air. If Evans is limited, that leaves a lot of yards for Godwin to scoop up. In fact, the Cardinals defense overall is ranked 30th, letting up over 400 yards per game of total offense. It'll be an opportunity all around.
3. QB Jameis Winston
Speaking of opportunity all around, Winston will be the one orchestrating the offensive effort. He's coming off perhaps one of his best games of the season in Seattle. Though he didn't have his highest passer rating of the season, it was still over 100 and he threw zero interceptions. His decision-making looked to have taken a step forward and he still passed for 335 yards with two touchdowns.
If he has another game of over 300 yards passing, which seems feasible against the league's third-worst defense, he would set a new franchise record for most such games in a row. He also needs just four more touchdown passes to tie for the ninth-most passing touchdowns in a single season in team history. Another clean game from Winston will also show that he's grasping Head Coach Bruce Arians' new offense and turning the corner.
4. OLB Jason Pierre-Paul
This is Pierre-Paul's first game inside Raymond James Stadium this season. JPP returned from an offseason neck injury in Week Eight against the Titans in Tennessee. He had a sack on his first snap after not playing a down of football for 10 months. He followed up his inaugural 2019 performance with another productive one in Seattle. He was credited with a half sack on Wilson and tallied three total quarterback hits. He also simultaneously broke up a pass on one of those hits.
Pierre-Paul said this week he has a ton of family and friends coming to this game, too. You know he's going to be juiced. Look no further than last weekend's Mic'd Up segment to see what a juiced up JPP is like. In front of the home crowd, he's going to be on another level.
5. S Mike Edwards
Rookie cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting has been holding down the outside. Rookie cornerback Jamel Dean was thrown into the fire last game and will get a lot of work this upcoming game, too. I'm looking for the rookie trifecta with a big game from Edwards, now. The Kentucky product had some nagging injury issues throughout training camp and the start of the season but as his health has improved, so has his grasp of the game.
Against an Arizona 'air raid' offense that's more reminiscent of a college scheme, Edwards is going to have an opportunity to get back to his ball-hawking tendencies he had in college, himself. Wherever the ball went, Edwards wasn't far throughout his Wildcat career, recording 10 interceptions in his four seasons at Kentucky. Edwards has great instincts and he'll need them against an unpredictable quarterback in Kyler Murray. The number on overall pick has been pretty accurate for a rookie especially, too, throwing just four interceptions on the season. Edwards and his fellow defensive backs will be looking to change that though on Sunday.
View some of the top photos from Buccaneers Week 10 practice at the AdventHealth Training Center.