Define “Industrious”. It means hard-working, diligent, and sedulous. It describes a person who takes a painstaking approach to one’s craft. In the late 15th century, it was used in the sense of one being skillful and clever. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it describes Mike Evans.
The 2020 NFL Season
This season started off with great hopes and guarantees of victory and success. Records were sure to fall. But within the first four weeks uncertainty started to loom for Evans and his hope for breaking some personal and NFL records. In week one Evans had a single catch for two yards. He seemed to bounce back in week two with a 104-yard performance. But hopes dipped once more in week three as another two-yard game was etched in the stat line. Though I am sure Evans would rather win a Super Bowl than record records without one, the lights dimmed on the hopes of a few milestones. But as the season has gone on the yards and touchdowns have slowly piled up.
Week 16 and a Touchdown Record
Evans entered the game needing only two touchdowns to break a personal and Buccaneers record. As recorded in his rookie season (2014) and again in the 2016 season Evans had hauled in an impressive 12 touchdowns. Two games away from the end of the regular season Evans was prepped to reach and break the marks he had set earlier. Ultimately, the porous defense of the Detroit Lions would provide the necessary chain of events for Evans to breakthrough.
In the first quarter after a quick start, Evans would inch closer. On second and twelve Tom Brady dropped back, paused, and unleashed a long ball just out of reach for the defender for a beautiful over the shoulder catch by Mike Evans.
In the third quarter with the game well in hand came the record-breaking catch. Lined up to the left of Blain Gabbert, Mike Evans launched himself down the field at the snap. As he moved down the field the defender laid just over the top of his route. Suddenly, Mike stopped and cut back to the sideline just a yard or so short of the endzone. Just as he turned, he spotted the ball pulled it in, and walked effortlessly into the endzone. Just like that, Mike Evans broke his own touchdown record and Buccaneers record.
The catch and touchdown were very characteristic of a great player. He made it look easy. Simplistic almost. That’s the amazing thing about greatness, it makes difficult things look simple, and just as simply as he walked into the endzone he walked into the Buccaneers records once more.
Week 17 and the 1,000-Yard Mark
As the last week looms so will an important record that will allow Mike Evans to stand alone in NFL history. After a 181-yard performance in week 16, Mike Evans suddenly found himself thrust back into the NFL records book conversations. Only needing 40 yards, Evans can break the record for most 1,000-yard seasons to start a career. Currently, the record is tied up among Evans and the great Randy Moss.
Knowing this going into the game Brady is most likely fully aware. Having played with Moss he knows the importance of a record of this nature. The targets should come for Evans. In week 15 we saw the Brady target Evans seven times against the Falcons secondary. The results were six catches for a 110-yard performance. Taking on the Falcons in the last week of the season should provide Evans the opportunity to become one of one!
Good luck Mike! We are rooting for you!
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