Chris Godwin was one of four Tampa Bay receivers to surpass the 750-yard mark in 2018. In fact, Godwin ended up with 842 receiving yards on 59 receptions, giving him a 14.3 yard-per-reception average across all 16 games he played in. He also had three 100-yard games this season, two of which came when wide receiver DeSean Jackson was sidelined with an injury.
It’s a perfect example of Godwin’s ready and willingness to step up. It wasn’t his fault he was in a completely stacked position group. His improvement from his rookie season to his sophomore season came clearly in the production column. It took until Tampa Bay’s last game of the season in 2017 for Godwin to score his first NFL touchdown. This past season? He had seven, which would have bested any player’s season total from 2017. It was second only to Mike Evans in 2018.
Let’s take a look at some of those touchdowns/season highlights below.
The Panthers look to be in zone coverage here and Godwin manages to get behind Carolina’s last level of defense in the end zone. You can see the safety pointing back toward where Godwin is but the corner is spying the underneath crossing route being run by running back Jacquizz Rodgers. Quarterback Jameis Winston is initially looking toward Mike Evans, who looks to be running a post at the top of your screen before cutting out to a corner route. Before he can make the cut, Winston is forced to scramble and keeps his eyes downfield, where he finds Godwin open in the back of the end zone. He fires a dart and Godwin comes down with it for his first touchdown of the game. He would end up having two before the afternoon was over.
This. Play. Was. Huge. The Bucs wouldn’t end up winning, but they sure got the chance thanks to this two-point conversion from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to Godwin. Fitzpatrick had led a touchdown drive that culminated in an 18-yard touchdown pass to O.J. Howard, pulling the Bucs within two points with just over a minute left in the game. It was a do or die moment with trips to Fitzpatrick’s right and Godwin as the ‘Z’ receiver lined up on the hash marks inside. He goes to sit right inside the goal line but realizes Fitzpatrick is in trouble. He moves to stay open and makes the grab as two defenders are collapsing on him from either side.
There’s nothing quite like the bright lights of Monday Night Football. The Bucs hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers at home in prime time and this score was instrumental in the Bucs mounting a comeback. Down 30-13 in the fourth quarter, Godwin was lined up on the outside of a 3x1 formation and again goes straight for the end zone but this time, to the back to get behind his defender. He makes a cut toward the sideline and the defender stumbles, giving Godwin the separation that Fitzpatrick sees. He fires it to Godwin’s waiting hands as the defender catches up with him to immediately take him down but he has the ball secured and two feet firmly inbounds to cut the Bucs’ deficit.
Off the Field:
Off the field, Chris Godwin participated in the NFL’s My Cause, My Cleats initiative, wearing cleats for Best Buddies, a charity he has been involved with since high school. The mission of Best Buddies is to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Godwin got to know Hayden, who was his first Best Buddy, and in turn had Hayden’s name along with a Mickey Mouse painted on his cleats, a nod to Hayden’s love for Disney. The pair have been together since Godwin was 17 and continue their friendship to this day.