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A Cascade of Mike Evans Milestones

Data Crunch: Reaching 1,000 yards for an NFL record 10th straight season and moving into a tie for 13th all-time in touchdown catches was only the start of WR Mike Evans' big day in Sunday's win over Carolina


In the fourth quarter of Tampa Bay's 21-18 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, the Buccaneers had a three-point lead and the ball on their own 45-yard line. The Panthers had just used their second timeout after a two-yard run on first down by Rachaad White, stopping the clock with 2:10 left. The Buccaneers needed one more first down to seal the win, and conventional wisdom suggested they would run it two more times to at least avoid the clock stoppage of a possible incompletion.

Instead, Baker Mayfield did what he had been doing all afternoon, to great effect: He threw the ball to Mike Evans.

Facing off coverage with a single-high safety because the Panthers were loading the box with eight defenders, Evans simply ran a quick slant from the right side and Mayfield zipped a pass into his gut for a gain of seven. That made it third-and-one and White ended any thoughts of a comeback on the next play by breaking free for a gain of 30 over left tackle.

Evans' seven-yard grab was the last of his seven catches on the day, and far from his most spectacular. But it did put a bow on one of the momentous days by any offensive player in Buccaneers franchise history. None of this is news on Monday morning, as Evans was rightfully and loudly celebrated for his achievements immediately after the game. Still, it's worth recapping every milestone that came out of his 162-yard, one-touchdown performance.

First and foremost, Evans surpassed 1,000 receiving yards again, now having done so in all 10 of his NFL seasons. He already had the record for the most such seasons to start a players career, and he continued to put the rest of the field well in his rear view mirror.

Most Consecutive 1,000-Yard Receiving Seasons to Begin a Career, NFL History

Table inside Article
Player Team No. Seasons
Mike Evans Buccaneers 10 2014-23
Randy Moss Vikings 6 1998-2003
A.J. Green Bengals 5 2011-15
Michael Thomas Saints 4 2016-19
Odell Beckham Giants 3 2014-16
John Jefferson Chargers 3 1978-80

Evans' streak  has grown quite notable beyond the fact that it started in his first season. He now has the second-longest run of 1,000-yard receiving seasons in league history, regardless of where it occurred within a player's career. Hall of Famer Jerry Rice has the only longer streak, and Evans is now within a season of matching it.

Most Consecutive 1,000-Yard Receiving Seasons, NFL History

Table inside Article
Player Team No. Seasons
Jerry Rice* 49ers 11 1986-96
Mike Evans Buccaneers 10 2014-23
Tim Brown* Raiders 9 1993-2001
Cris Carter* Vikings 8 1993-2000
Marvin Harrison* Colts 8 1999-2006
Torry Holt Rams 8 2000-2007

(* Pro Football Hall of Famer)

Overall, those 10 seasons with 1,000 receiving yards make him just the third player ever to hit double digits in that category. He is now tied for second in NFL history, with only Rice ahead of him.

Most 1,000-Yard Receiving Seasons, NFL History

1. Jerry Rice* 49ers/Raiders: 14

2t. Mike Evans, Buccaneers: 10

2t. Randy Moss* Vikings/Raiders/Patriots: 10

4t. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals: 9

4t. Terrell Owens* 49ers/Eagles/Cowboys: 9

4t. Jimmy Smith, Jaguars: 9

(* Pro Football Hall of Famer)

Evans' seven catches against the Panthers improved his team-leading total in 2023 to 61 and made him the first player in NFL history to catch at least 60 passes in each of his first 10 seasons.

Most Consecutive 60-Catch Seasons to Begin a Career, NFL History

Table inside Article
Player Team No. Seasons
Mike Evans Buccaneers 10 2014-23
Andre Johnson Texans 8 1998-2003
A.J. Green Bengals 7 2011-17
Keyshawn Johnson Jets/Buccaneers 7 1996-2022
Jarvis Landry Dolphins/Browns 7 2014-20

Evans got 75 of his 162 yards on the most important play of the game. Just one snap after Carolina had taken its first lead of the day on a one-yard Chuba Hubbard touchdown run in the third quarter, Evans ran a post route out of the left slot, caught Baker Mayfield's pass at the Tampa Bay 43 and raced the rest of the way for a go-ahead 75-yard touchdown. It was the longest player of his illustrious career.

Mike Evans' Longest Receptions:

1. 75-yard touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield, vs. Carolina, 12/3/23

2. 72-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick, at Cincinnati, 10/28/18

3. 70-yard pass from Baker Mayfield, vs. Chicago, 9/17/23

4. 68-yard pass from Jameis Winston, vs. N.Y. Giants, 11/8/15

5. 67-yard touchdown pass from Jameis Winston, at L.A. Rams, 9/29/19

There have been 14 completions of 70-plus yards in the NFL through the first 13 weeks (prior to Monday Night Football). Evans is the only player with two of them.

That touchdown was the 10th of the season for Evans, who has now hit double digits in that category in half of his 10 campaigns, and three of the last four. He ranks second in the NFL in that category in 2023.

Most Touchdown Receptions, NFL, 2023

1. Tyreek Hill, Miami: 12

2. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay: 10

3. Courtland Sutton, Denver: 9

4. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo: 8

5. Six tied with: 7

That score was the 91st touchdown reception of his career, as he once again moved up the NFL's all-time list in that category. Evans is now tied for the 13th most touchdown catches in league history.

NFL's All-Time Leaders in Touchdown Receptions

13t. 91: Davante Adams^, Isaac Bruce*, Mike Evans

12. 92: Rob Gronkowski

11. 99: Don Hutson*

9t. 100: Tim Brown, Steve Largent

* Pro Football Hall of Famer

^ Active player

Evans finished the day with 1,012 receiving yards on the season, pushing his career total to 11,437. That ranks 35th in NFL history and is just one yard behind 34th place.

Evans needs…

…2 yards to pass Muhsin Muhammad for 34th place

…183 yards to pass Calvin Johnson for 33rd place

…397 yards to pass Don Maynard for 32nd place

…405 yards to pass Antonio Gates for 31st place

…468 yards to pass Michael Irvin for 30th place

Evans now has five seasons in which he has recorded both 1,000-plus receiving yards and 10-plus touchdown receptions. That's tied for the fourth most in league history. Jerry Rice owns the record with nine such seasons, followed by Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss, all with eight. Evans is tied with Cris Carter and Lance Alworth for fifth. Every other player who has accomplished that feat at least five times is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Evans' 162 yards against Carolina stand as his 10th highest single-game output. It marked the 11th time that he has racked up at least 150 yards and scored a touchdown in the same game. That ties Moss and Torry Holt for the fourth-most games in that category in league history. The only players with more are Rice (19), Calvin Johnson (13) and Tyreek Hill (13).

Tampa Bay's other two touchdowns against the Panthers came on a one-yard Rachaad White run in the first quarter and a 19-yard end around by Chris Godwin in the fourth quarter. That marked the second rushing touchdown in Godwin's career and his 35th score overall. That touchdown broke a tie with Ring of Honor member Jimmie Giles and gave Godwin sole possession of fourth place on that franchise career list.

Most Touchdowns, Buccaneers History

1. Mike Evans: 92

2. Mike Alstott: 71

3. James Wilder: 46

4. Chris Godwin: 35

5. Jimmie Giles: 34

In addition to starting the scoring on Sunday, White recorded his fifth game of the season with at least 100 yards from scrimmage, combining 84 yards on 20 carries with two catches for 22 yards. He also had 99 yards from scrimmage against Atlanta in Week Seven and 98 against Tennessee in Week 10. Since that Week Seven game against the Falcons, White has 699 yards from scrimmage, which is the second most among all NFL running backs in that span.

Most Yards from Scrimmage, NFL Running Backs, Weeks 7-13

1. Christian McCaffrey, 49ers: 731

2. Rachaad White, Buccaneers: 699

3. Jahmyr Gibbs, Lions: 649

4. Alvin Kamara, Saints: 636

5. Saquon Barkley, Giants: 612

As a whole, the Buccaneers' rushing attack gained a season-high 128 yards on Sunday, marking the second straight game it has hit for 125 or more.

Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. led the Bucs' defense with eight tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss, one quarterback hit, one interception and three passes defensed. He became the first player in the NFL to have a sack, and interception and at least three passes defensed in a single game since Kansas City's L'Jarius Sneed did so in Week 15 of the 2020 season. That feat has been accomplished only four times over the last five seasons.

Winfield's quarterback hit was the 18th of his career and his sack was the 12th of his career, which began in 2020. Winfield is tied for first among all NFL defensive backs in those two categories since 2020.

The Buccaneers recorded four sacks of Carolina quarterback Bryce Young, one of which was credited to the team when Young attempted a sideways pass that was deemed to be backwards and thus a fumble that went out of bounds. The other two sacks belonged to linebacker J.J. Russell and rookie outside linebacker Yaya Diaby. Diaby's sack was his fifth of the season and fifth in the Bucs' last six games. He is now tied for second in sacks among all NFL rookies.

Most Sacks, NFL, Rookies

1.Kobie Turner, Rams: 5.5

2t. Yaya Diaby, Buccaneers: 5.0

2t. Will Anderson, Texans: 5.0

2t. Byron Young, Rams: 5.0

A couple Buccaneers achieved milestones simply by stepping on the field Sunday. Defensive lineman Will Gholston played in his 165th game for the Buccaneers, passing Hall of Famer John Lynch for sixth most in team history. Evans also moved up that list, taking over the 10th spot from Shelton Quarles with his 149th game as a Buccaneer.

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