Forward of the 2022 season, Professional Soccer Focus has launched an inventory of the 5 greatest offensive and defensive duos within the NFL. The Bucs, unsurprisingly, acquired some love on the offensive facet of the ball. Large receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin acquired reward for his or her constant success collectively over time.
“Godwin and Evans have accomplished annual injury as a receiving duo, and 2021 was no totally different,” PFF’s Kambui Bomani wrote. “The 2 completed final season with top-20 WAR figures and caught a mixed 22 of their 31 contested targets. Each time Godwin returns from his ACL tear, he and Evans will look to proceed their profession ascent with Tom Brady returning below middle.”
Each gamers have monitor information that talk for themselves. Evans’ is a bit longer, on condition that he got here to Tampa Bay because the No. 7 general decide within the 2014 NFL Draft. He has surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving mark in every of his first eight NFL seasons. That’s an NFL report that he certainly intends to maintain extending for so long as doable. The previous Texas A&M star has 606 catches for 9,301 yards and 75 touchdowns since getting into the league. Even on some fairly up-and-down offenses, he has been an absolute star.
Godwin got here alongside in 2017, becoming a member of the Bucs as a third-round draft decide. He had a minimal function as a rookie, although he nonetheless completed with 34 catches for 525 yards and a landing in 16 video games (two begins). It was in 2018 that he stepped up and shaped the second half of what has was one of many league’s most harmful receiving duos.
He began simply 5 video games that 12 months, however managed to put up 59 catches for 842 yards and 7 touchdowns. That led into his 2019 Professional Bowl season during which he totaled a career-high 1,333 yards and 9 touchdowns on 86 catches. An 840-yard, seven-touchdown season in 2020 then preceded final 12 months, which noticed him prime 1,000 yards once more. In 2021, he completed with 98 catches for 1,103 yards and 5 touchdowns in 14 video games. He suffered a season-ending knee harm in December, which he’s working his manner again from heading into 2022.
It shouldn’t come as a shock to anybody to see Evans and Godwin talked about among the many NFL’s elite duos. The opposite prime offensive duos talked about in PFF’s listing had been Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins (Cincinnati), Deebo Samuel and George Kittle (San Francisco), Davante Adams and Darren Waller (Las Vegas) and Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen (Minnesota).
Evans And Godwin Have Helped Remodel The Bucs’ Offense
For a lot of their historical past, the Bucs haven’t been identified for offensive firepower. The franchise, up till just lately, was identified just for protection.
However in every of the final three years, Tampa Bay completed prime 5 within the league in factors per sport. With Jameis Winston below middle in 2019, the Bucs averaged 28.6 factors per sport. That was good for fourth within the NFL. Tom Brady got here to city in 2020 led the offense to 30.8 factors per sport, which was the league’s third-best mark. Then, final 12 months, Brady and the Bucs dropped to 30.1 factors per sport, however that was the second-best common within the NFL.
Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich has overseen the Bucs’ offensive transformation. However within the final three years, the unit has seen turnover on the offensive line, within the backfield and even below middle. Evans and Godwin have been a continuing.
Since 2019, the duo has mixed for 460 catches, 6,474 yards and 56 touchdowns. That form of manufacturing is what retains the Bucs’ offense going. It’s a part of what attracted Brady to Tampa when he was a free agent in 2020. And it’s a significant motive why the Tampa Bay offense will keep afloat even when the Brady period involves an finish.
The manufacturing between the 2 star receivers is offers sufficient motive to understand them. Nonetheless, it’s the unselfishness they play with that actually makes them distinctive. In a league that options huge egos — particularly on the receiver place — it’s uncommon to seek out what the Bucs have.
It’s clear that the entrance workplace and training workers sees that. Conserving Godwin on the town was a precedence this offseason, and his three-year deal value $60 million implies that Tampa Bay will boast one of many NFL’s greatest receiving duos for no less than a couple of extra years.