Sunday’s matchup at Raymond James Stadium features the two best wide receivers in the NFC South. The Saints, Michael Thomas and the Buccaneers, Mike Evans. The dirty south is chock full of talented WRs but in 2019, these two are blazing a path.
The Tale Of The Tape
Michael Thomas has completed three seasons in the NFL. Finishing those seasons with 92, 104, and 125 receptions, for 1,137, 1,245, and 1,406 yards respectively. Through 9 games this season he is on pace for 176 receptions for 2,054 yards receiving.
Mike Evans came to the Buccaneers as a first round draft pick in 2014. He became the youngest player with 5 consecutive 1,000 yard seasons last year. He is also on pace to eclipse his previous season record of 1,524 yards receiving in 2017 with 924 yards at the half way point of 2019.
With Thomas at 6’3, 212lbs and Evans at 6’5, 231, both can be a load to cover. Both receivers ran in the 4.5 second range coming out of college. They both with use their bodies to position for he ball and height as a lethal advantage. Both also give opposing defensive coordinators fits when trying to create schemes to contain them.
We Always Hang In A Buffalo Stance
Made famous by Bruce Smith, defensive lineman of the Buffalo Bills in the late 80’s, the Buffalo stance is standing with your arms crossed tightly and looking to the side at somebody.. It is also a great song from the 80’s by the great Neneh Cherry that us older schoolers jammed to. Check it out (here).
These two spectacular wide receivers could stand side by side and except for the uniform color difference almost look like a mirror.
Speaking of “mirror”, and “timeless”. If the physical makeup and mad skills of either of these two receivers make Buccaneers fans have warm and fuzzy memories of days gone by, there is a connection.
Both receivers may remind Tampa Bay fans of former Buccaneers wide receiver and 2002 Super Bowl champion Keyshawn Johnson. Michael Thomas calls Key, Uncle. As he is his nephew. Talk about “good hands” people. Michael and Mike could be the ‘key’ to victory for one team on Sunday.