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Mike Evans Streaks Into Top 20 All Time

Data Crunch: With his 85th career touchdown catch, Mike Evans moved into a tie for 18th-place in NFL history in that category…On defense, Lavonte David, Antoine Winfield Jr. and Shaquil Barrett all had noteworthy accomplishments


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Atlanta Falcons, 16-13, on Sunday, when Younghoe Koo drilled a 51-yard field goal as time expired. That marked the first time since 2018 – also against the Falcons – that a Tampa Bay opponent had scored the winning points in a game in the last minute of regulation. On December 30, 2018, Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant hit a 37-yard field goal with no time left on the clock to give the Falcons a 34-32 win over the Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay had tied the game 45 seconds earlier on the game clock on Chase McLaughlin's 36-yard field goal. In his first season with the Buccaneers, McLaughlin has made 11 of his 12 field goal attempts so far in 2023, with the lone miss being a kick that was blocked. That was the third time that the Buccaneers had tied the score after Atlanta had taken the lead.

The first time the Bucs tied the game came in the first quarter, when wide receiver Mike Evans caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield. It was Evans' team-leading fourth touchdown reception of the season and it gave him 85 in his illustrious career. (He also has an 86th touchdown on a fumble recovery.) With his most recent trip to the end zone, Evans has reached an important milestone: He is now among the top 20 in NFL history in touchdown receptions.

Evans' inexorable climb up the league's all-time TD catch list now has him tied for 18th with Lance Alworth, Hines Ward and Paul Warfield. Here are the players Evans is closing in on:

NFL's All-Time Leaders in Touchdown Receptions

18t. 85: Lance Alworth, Mike Evans, Hines Ward, Paul Warfield

17. 86: Jimmy Graham^

16. 87: Andre Reed*

15. 88: Don Maynard*

14. 90: Davante Adams^

13. 91: Isaac Bruce*

12. 92: Rob Gronkowski

* Pro Football Hall of Famer

^ Active player

Evans caught six passes for 82 yards in the game, giving him a team-high 468 receiving yards through six games. That average of 78 yards per outing would lead to a 1,326-yard season through a full 17-game season. Evans famously has recorded nine straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons since he was drafted seventh overall in 2014, the most such seasons to open a career in NFL history. If Evans reaches that milestone again in 2023 he will tie Randy Moss for the second most 1,000-yard receiving seasons in league annals overall. Jerry Rice is the all-time leader, with 14.

Evans' 40-yard score was his longest of the season so far, though he also has a 70-yard non-scoring reception. Since he entered the league, Evans has scored on catches of 40 or more yards on 15 occasions, tied for the fifth-most in the NFL over that span.

Evans tied for the team lead in Sunday's game with six receptions, matching the totals for wide receiver Chris Godwin and running back Rachaad White. Godwin has now recorded at least five catches for at least 50 yards in 13 of his last 14 games.

Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. had yet another impactful game, with seven tackles, a pass defensed and a forced fumble. His pass break-up came against 6-4 wide receiver Drake London in the end zone on a third down, leading to a Falcons field goal. His forced fumble was against quarterback Desmond Ridder, who appeared to be completing a 12-yard touchdown run. A hustling Winfield managed to poke the ball out of Ridder's hands just before he crossed the goal line, and the ball went through the end zone for a touchback that gave the ball to the Buccaneers.

Winfield now leads the team in both passes defensed (five) and forced fumbles (3). He is tied for the league lead in forced fumbles and he joins Miami safety Jevon Holland and Kansas City cornerback Trent McDuffie as the only players in the NFL with at least three forced fumbles and at least five passes defensed. Winfield has eight forced fumbles since he entered the league in 2020 as a second-round draft pick, which is second among all NFL defensive backs in that span.

Most Forced Fumbles, NFL Defensive Backs, 2020-23

1. Marlon Humphrey, Ravens: 10

2t. Antoine Winfield Jr., Buccaneers: 8

2t. Vonn Bell, Bengals/Panthers: 8

2t. Josh Norman, Bills/49ers/Panthers: 8

5. Terrance Mitchell, Browns/Texans/Titans: 7

Outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett also forced a fumble when he knocked the ball out of Ridder's hand while recording his 42nd sack as a Buccaneer. The loose ball was recovered by cornerback Jamel Dean just before halftime, ending a Falcons scoring threat. Barrett has now recorded 13 'strip-sacks' since he signed with the Buccaneers as a free agent in 2019, the most in the NFL in that span. His 13 forced fumbles from 2019-23 are tied for the third most in the NFL.

Most Forced Fumbles, 2019-23

1. T.J. Watt, Steelers: 18

2. Chandler Jones, Cardinals/Raiders: 15

3t. Shaquil Barrett, Buccaneers: 13

3t. Shaquile Leonard, Colts: 13

3t. Haason Reddick, Cardinals/Panthers/Eagles: 13

Linebacker Lavonte David led the Buccaneers with 13 tackles while also recording a tackle for loss and a pass defensed. It marked the second straight game, and the third time this season, that David has collected at least a dozen tackles. Since he entered the league as a second-round draft pick in 2012, David has hit the 12-tackle mark on 27 occasions, the third most in the NFL in that span.

Most Games with 12+ Tackles, NFL, 2012-23

1. Bobby Wagner, Seattle/L.A. Rams: 41

2. Luke Kuechly, Carolina: 28

3. Lavonte David, Tampa Bay: 27

4. Foyesade Oluokun, Atlanta/Jacksonville: 23

5. C.J. Mosley, Baltimore/N.Y. Jets: 20

David now has 61 career passes defensed. That is the second most among all linebackers currently active in the NFL.

Most Passes Defensed, NFL, Active Linebackers

1. Bobby Wagner, Seattle/L.A. Rams: 65

2. Lavonte David, Tampa Bay: 61

3. Eric Kendricks, Minnesota/L.A. Chargers: 52

4. C.J. Mosley, Baltimore/N.Y. Jets: 50

5. Demario Davis, N.Y. Jets/Cleveland/New Orleans: 49

David's tackle for loss increased his impressive career total to 149. That ranks fifth among all active players in the NFL, regardless of position.

Most Tackles for Loss, NFL, Active Players

1. Aaron Donald, L.A. Rams: 168

2. Calais Campbell, Arizona/Jacksonville/Baltimore/Atlanta: 167

3. Von Miller, Denver/L.A. Rams/Buffalo: 164

4. Cameron Jordan, New Orleans: 152

5. Lavonte David, Tampa Bay: 149

The exploits of Winfield, Barrett and David helped the Buccaneers keep the game close even though Atlanta's offense penetrated their red zone on five occasions. The Falcons only came away with one touchdown in those five trips, otherwise settling for a field goal once and losing possession on fumbles three times. That lowered the Bucs' defensive red zone touchdown percentage allowed, which already was the lowest in the NFL before that game, to 22.2%.

Lowest Red Zone Touchdown Percentage Allowed, NFL

Table inside Article
Team Opp RZ Drives TD Allowed Pct.
Tampa Bay 18 4 22.2%
Baltimore 17 4 23.5%
Tennessee 23 7 30.4%
N.Y. Jets 19 7 36.8%
Atlanta 18 7 38.9%

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