The Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffered their first loss of the 2023 season on Monday night, falling to the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles, 25-11. As the score suggests, it was a difficult night for the Buccaneers in all three phases of the game, particularly in terms of running the ball and stopping the run. Tampa Bay's offense gained 41 yards on the ground, while the defense allowed 201 rushing yards. The Buccaneers are 10-74 all-time when they rush for fewer than 50 yards, and they are 2-56 all-time when they allow 200 or more rushing yards. Put it together and they are 1-14 when both of those criteria are met.
Despite the loss, the Buccaneers are 2-1 on the season and tied with the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints for first place in the NFC South. They will have an opportunity to grab at least a share of first place this coming Sunday when they face the Saints in the Superdome for their first intradivision game of the year. And despite the unwelcome outcome on Monday night, there were some notable milestones reached during the evening.
Perhaps most notable was Mike Evans catching a team-high five passes to hit an impressive round number on his career. Evans's last catch of the evening was the 700th of his career in the regular season. Since he is the Buccaneers' all-time leading receiver he is also obviously the first player in franchise history to reach 700 catches. He is now among just 59 players in NFL history, which spans more than a century to join the 700 Club
The last of the five passes Evans snared was a one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. He has now caught a scoring pass in each of the Bucs' first three games of the season. Evans has accomplished that feat four times in his career; every other player in franchise history has combined to do it once.
Buccaneers with Touchdown Receptions in Each of First Three Games of a Season
- Mike Evans, 2016
- Mike Evans, 2018
- Chris Godwin, 2018
- Mike Evans, 2020
- Mike Evans, 2023
The scoring grab was the 84th of Evans's illustrious career. (He also owns an 85th touchdown on a fumble recovery.) With that touchdown he moved up on the league's all-time list for TD receptions once again; he was tied for 25th in league history but now he's up to 21st. As Evans continues to find the end zone, he will move rapidly up towards the top 10.
Most Touchdown Receptions in NFL History, Groupings
|84||t-21st||Mike Evans *, Mark Clayton, Irving Fryar, Tommy McDonald, Andre Rison|
|85||t-18th||Lance Alworth, Hines Ward, Paul Warfield|
|86||17th||Jimmy Graham *|
|90||14th||Davante Adams *|
(* active players)
On the drive that led to his touchdown catch on Monday night, Evans also caught passes of 24 and 22 yards for the two longest gains of the game by Tampa Bay's offense. That helped raise his season average to 17.5 yards per catch. Among all players with at least 15 receptions so far, Evans leads the NFL in per-catch average.
Most Yards Per Reception, NFL (minimum 15 receptions)
- Mike Evans, Tampa Bay: 17.5
- Nico Collins, Houston: 17.3
- Justin Jefferson, Minnesota: 17.0
- Nathaniel Dell, Houston: 16.7
- Tyreek Hill, Miami: 16.5
On defense, the Buccaneers got interceptions from linebacker Devin White and cornerback Dee Delaney. For both players, it was the second interception of their careers. The Buccaneers have forced seven turnovers through the first three games of 2023, tied for the fourth-most in the NFL. Tampa Bay's offense did surrender its first two turnovers of the season but still have a +5 differential on the season that ranks second in the league.
Linebacker Lavonte David led the defense with 13 tackles, marking the 44th time in his career that he has reached double-digit stops in a game. That's the third-most such outings in the NFL in that span, which dates back to the 2012 season. David also recorded the Bucs' lone sack of the night, giving him 30 on his career, which is the 10th most in franchise history and the most by any player who was not an edge rusher or a down lineman.
Most Sacks, Buccaneers History
- DE Lee Roy Selmon: 78.5
- DT Warren Sapp: 77.0
- DE Simeon Rice: 69.5
- DT Gerald McCoy: 54.5
- OLB Shaquil Barrett: 41.5
- DT David Logan: 39.0
- DE Chidi Ahanotu: 34.5
- DT Brad Culpepper: 33.0
- DE Jason Pierre-Paul: 33.0
- LB Lavonte David: 30.0
On special teams, punter Jake Camarda continued to shine, averaging 57.5 yards on four punts and dropping two of them inside the Eagles' 20. He has had a gross average of 52.8 yards in all three games this season and his seven inside-the-20 punts so far are tied for the third most in the NFL. Camarda currently leads the NFL in gross punting average and ranks seventh with a 44.9-yard net average.
Best Gross Punting Average, NFL
- Jake Camarda, Tampa Bay: 54.9
- Michael Dickson, Seattle: 53.4
- Ryan Stonehouse, Tennessee: 52.5
- A.J. Cole, Las Vegas: 51.1
- Ethan Evans, L.A. Rams: 51.0
One of Camarda's punts was a 74-yard blast in the first quarter that the Eagles Britain Covey fielded at the Philadelphia four-yard line. That kick tied both his own personal long and the longest in franchise history. Camarda also had a 72-yard punt in Week Two against Chicago as part of a performance that earned him the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week Award. In just 20 career games, Camarda has already produced three of the four longest punts in Buccaneers history.
|Jake Camarda||L.A. Rams||11/6/22||74|
|Sean Landeta||N.Y. Jets||12/14/97||74|
|Tom Tupa||New Orleans||12/1/02||71|
|Jake Camarda||New Orleans||12/5/22||66|