The 2022 season hasn’t gone in line with plan for Bucs vast receiver Mike Evans.
A yr after breaking his personal single-season franchise document for landing catches with 13 in 2020, Evans set a brand new document with 14 TDs in 2021. However this season Evans had simply three landing catches previous to Sunday’s Week 17 matchup in opposition to the Panthers.
Evans hadn’t scored a landing since he had a pair of scores in opposition to Kansas Metropolis in a 41-31 loss in Week 4.
However all that modified in opposition to Carolina when Tampa Bay wanted Evans probably the most.
With the NFC South division title on the road, Evans got here by way of with among the finest video games of his profession, catching a season-high 10 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns in a 30-24 win over the Panthers.
“Yeah, Mike performed superior, like he at all times does,” Bucs quarterback Tom Brady stated. “I like taking part in on the market with him and he’s an incredible participant – I’ve missed him too many occasions this yr, so it was good to attach with him and hopefully we are able to preserve that going. I believe we’ll.”
Evans dropped a large open landing bomb from Brady on the Bucs’ first drive in Carolina again in a 21-3 loss in Week 7. However within the rematch, Evans atoned for that mistake, hauling in TD passes masking 63, 57 and 30 yards to assist the Bucs come again from a 14-0 deficit and take a 24-21 lead within the fourth quarter.
The deep ball connection between Brady and Evans has been off for many of the yr, however reignited simply in time for Tampa Bay to win back-to-back NFC South titles.
“With the Panthers the final time we performed them, we knew we left means too many performs out on the sector,” Evans stated. “I do know I did. I used to be excited to get one other alternative, as a result of they play a whole lot of Quarters, man, and Cowl 3, so I knew we have been going to have alternatives within the cross sport. The [offensive] line did an incredible job defending, everybody had their hand within the pile on offense. It was our greatest sport offensively and we would have liked it.”
The Bucs hit 30 factors for simply the second time all season, and the Brady-to-Evans connection was a giant purpose why on Sunday.
“They have been taking part in a whole lot of Cowl 1, and Tom was simply dropping dimes,” Brady stated. “These have been some actually, actually good balls. The most effective video games I’ve seen Tom play since he has been right here. They have been falling proper within the breadbasket each time. He had an unbelievable sport.”
Brady completed the sport finishing 34-of-45 passes for a season-high 432 yards with three touchdowns, a dashing landing and no interceptions. Evans posted his third sport of 100 receiving yards or extra this season and reached 1,000 receiving yards for the season for a ninth straight yr, extending his personal NFL document to start out his profession.
The perfect receiver in Bucs historical past tied Tim Brown (1993-2001) with 9 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons at any level in a profession. Solely Jerry Rice has extra with 11 seasons (1986-96).
“I had two 1,000-yard seasons [at Texas A&M], as effectively,” Evans stated with fun. “Nah, yearly is totally different. I simply thank God that he has blessed me to be wholesome and have nice individuals round me to have the ability to accomplish this feat. Hopefully I can preserve extending it yearly that I play.”
Bucs WR Evans Had One Of His Greatest Video games vs. The Panthers
On Sunday, Evans was simply two yards shy of his career-best, which was 209 yards at Washington again in 2014. And he was 9 yards away from Vincent Jackson’s franchise document of 216 yards in opposition to New Orleans in 2012.
Evans has caught three touchdowns in a sport twice earlier than – versus Chicago final yr and in opposition to the Giants again in 2019. That’s one shy of Jimmie Giles’ Bucs franchise document, which was 4 in opposition to Miami in 1985.
Evans has 18 multi-touchdown video games since coming into the league in 2014. Solely Las Vegas Professional Bowler Davante Adams has extra (20).
“Yeah, Mike performed superior, like he at all times does,” Brady stated. “I like taking part in on the market with him and he’s an incredible participant. I’ve missed him too many occasions this yr, so it was good to attach with him and hopefully we are able to preserve that going. I believe we’ll.”
Evans and Brady received’t simply have yet one more sport to play collectively this season subsequent week in Atlanta. The NFC South champs will host both Dallas or Philadelphia in a Wild Card sport within the first spherical of the playoffs the week after – due to their position in a giant win over Carolina on Sunday.