Despite being shadowed during the game by Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman, third-year Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans caught eight passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's win over Seattle. That marked Evans' second consecutive 100-yard receiving game and the 12th of his career in 41 total outings. Evans moved past Keyshawn Johnson and Joey Galloway on the Bucs' all-time list of 100-yard receiving games and now only trails Mark Carrier (15), Kevin House (14) and Vincent Jackson (13).
Pictures of Mike Evans during the Bucs' game against the Seahawks.
In the process of hitting that century mark for the third time in the Bucs' last four games, Evans also surpassed 1,000 yards on the season. With 73 receptions for 1,020 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season, Evans ranks third, second and tied for first in those three categories, respectively. (Rankings listed prior to Monday night's game between Green Bay and Philadelphia.) Evans and Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown are the only two players in the NFL to rank in the top five in each of those three categories.
As has already been widely reported, Evans joined a very exclusive list when he crossed over into four digits on Sunday. He is now just the fourth player in NFL history to open his career with three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons, joining Randy Moss (first six seasons), A.J. Green (first five, and counting) and John Jefferson (first three). Green is just 36 yards away from tying Moss with his sixth straight 1,000-yard season, though he is currently sidelined by a hamstring injury. The New York Giants' Odell Beckham, Jr. is also just 85 yards away from joining the club.
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Each of the three receivers to accomplish this feat before Evans increased their yardage totals from Season One to Season Two and then again from Season Two to Season Three. Evans did the same between his first two campaigns and looks like he will follow the trend again in Year Three. He is on pace for 1,484 yards through 16 games; the Buccaneers' single-season record is 1,422, set by Carrier in 1989.
Evans' 10 touchdown catches are just two shy of the his own single-season franchise record of 12, which he set during his 2014 rookie campaign. Evans is now the first player in team history with two seasons of 10 or more touchdown receptions. He also joins former running backs James Wilder and Mike Alstott as the only players in franchise history with two seasons of 10+ touchdowns of any kind. The Bucs' overall single-season touchdown record is 13, set by Wilder in 1984.
Most Touchdown Receptions, Single Season, Buccaneers
- Mike Evans
- Mike Williams
3t. Mike Evans
3t. Joey Galloway
5t. Mark Carrier
5t. Bruce Hill
5t. Kevin House
5t. Mike Williams
Evans has already moved into the Buccaneers' top five in career touchdown catches (tied for fifth), with 25. He has done so in far fewer games than the four players above him on the list.
- Jimmie Giles
- Kevin House
- Joey Galloway
- Mark Carrier
5t. Mike Evans
5t. Mike Williams
Evans's career totals to this point include 215 catches for 3,277 yards and 25 touchdowns in a total of 41 games played. Evans and Beckham, a fellow 2014 first-round pick by the New York Giants, are the only players since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to have at least 200 receptions, at least 3,000 yards and at least 25 touchdowns through their first 41 games. Only five players have hit those yardage and touchdown benchmarks through their first 41 games.
Evans is the only player in the NFL this season to have at least 50 receiving yards in each of his team's games**. Evans, Brown and Beckham are the only players this season to have caught two or more touchdown passes in three different games.
Both of Evans touchdowns on Sunday came on Jameis Winston passes, giving Winston 22 TD tosses on the season to match his total from last year. That's tied for the fourth-highest total in Buc annals and Winston is on pace for 32 touchdown passes, which would easily break the team's single-season record.
Most TD Passes, Single Season, Buccaneers
- Josh Freeman
- Brad Johnson
- Josh Freeman
4t. Jameis Winston
4t. Jameis Winston
4t. Brad Johnson
Winston has thrown for 2,900 yards along with those 22 scoring passes, both the highest total ever for a Buccaneer quarterback through 11 games. He is on pace for 4,218 yards, which would break the team record of 4,065, set by Josh Freeman in 2012. Winston nearly broke that record last year with 4,042 yards and could become the first player in NFL history to open his career with two consecutive 4,000-yard passing campaigns.
Winston is already in the top 10 in league annals in terms of the most combined passing yards and touchdown passes through his first two seasons and he's very close to moving up several more spots on both lists.
Winston completed 21 of his 28 passes in Sunday's win over Seattle, setting a personal single-game best with a 75.0% completion percentage. That contributed to a 106.2 passer rating on the day, marking the fifth time this year he has finished a game with a passer rating better than 100. That includes three of his last four outings, and the only one below 100 was a mark of 97.3 in last week's win in Kansas City.
Since the Buccaneers returned from their bye and played at San Francisco in Week Seven, Winston has compiled a passer rating of 104.2, buoyed by 13 touchdown passes against just three interceptions. That's the eighth-best rating among all NFL quarterbacks in that span.
Best Passer Rating, NFL, Weeks 7-12
- Marcus Mariota
- Drew Brees
- Dak Prescott
- Kirk Cousins
- Matt Ryan
- Tom Brady
- Ryan Tannehill
- Jameis Winston
- Derek Carr
- Aaron Rodgers
Running back Doug Martin helped the Buccaneers' offense get off to a fast start on Sunday with six carries for 22 yards on a game-opening touchdown drive. Martin finished the game with 87 yards on 23 carries and in the process surpassed two career milestones.
Martin now has 4,074 rushing yards and 5,039 yards from scrimmage since arriving as a first-round draft pick in 2012. He is just the fourth player in team history to surpass 4,000 rushing yards and the sixth to surpass 5,000 yards from scrimmage.Most Career Rushing Yards, Buccaneers
Most Career Yards from Scrimmage, Buccaneers
Odds and Ends
- In the last two weeks, the Buccaneers have beaten a Kansas City team that came into the game with a 7-2 record and a Seattle team that came into the game with a 7-2-1 record. That marks the first time in franchise history that the Bucs have posted back-to-back victories over teams with winning percentages of .700 or better in the second half of a season.
- Kansas City had won five games in a row before the Bucs win at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 11. Seattle brought a three-game winning streak into Raymond James Stadium on Sunday but saw that run snapped, as well. That's the first time since 1999 that the Buccaneers have notched consecutive victories over opponents that came into the game with a winning streak of at least three games. Coincidentally, that pair of Buc wins also involved Seattle. Tampa Bay won a Week 12 contest at Seattle, 16-3, snapping a five-game winning streak for the Seahawks. The following Sunday, the visiting Minnesota Vikings also brought a five-game winning streak to Tampa only to fall, 24-17.
- The Buccaneers' victory on Sunday was the first game in team history that ended in a score of 14-5 (either a win or a loss). In fact, it is only the second 14-5 final in NFL history. The first was a San Francisco victory over Atlanta on Sept. 30, 1984. Maybe it will prove to be good luck; the 49ers won the Super Bowl at the end of that '84 campaign.
A behind-the-scenes look at the Buccaneers' game against the Seahawks.
- Each of Tampa Bay's first two drives on Sunday ended in touchdown catches by Evans. That marked the first time since Oct. 12, 2012, against New Orleans, that the Bucs had scored TDs on each of their first two drives of a game. Evans also became the first player in team history with two touchdown catches in the first quarter.
- Lavonte David's 53-yard fumble return in the fourth quarter was the longest by a Buccaneer since safety Sabby Piscitelli took a fumble 72 yards against Buffalo on Sept. 20, 2009.
- Rookie cornerback Javien Elliott, who was promoted from the practice squad last week, made his NFL debut on Sunday, playing seven snaps on special teams. Defensive tackle Sealver Siliga, signed two weeks ago, saw his first game action as a Buccaneer, logging 11 snaps on defense and contributing one tackle assist.
- Cornerback Josh Robinson continued to provide impact plays on special teams, as he was partially responsible for the Seahawks having to start three straight drives inside their own 10-yard line. In the third quarter, Robinson downed a 46-yard Bryan Anger punt at Seattle's four-yard line. Early in the fourth quarter, Robinson tackled return man Tyler Lockett immediately after Lockett fielded another Anger punt at his own seven-yard line. Robinson, who leads the team with nine special teams tackles, has had at least one kick-coverage stop in each of the Bucs' last six games.