The Tampa Bay Buccaneers secured their second consecutive division championship on Sunday. This was in large part due to an offensive explosion resulting in 30 points. And at the heart of the combustion was a familiar face.
Star wide receiver Mike Evans had a day to remember. His 207 receiving yards and three touchdowns helped the Bucs score 30+ points for only the second time this season. But this game meant a little bit more for Evans than a NFC South championship.
Another 1,000 Yard Season
In this game Evans eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark on the year. This extended his own record for most 1,000 receiving yard seasons to start a career (now at nine). As this record continues to grow it will only continue to cement Evans as one of the best to ever play the game.
On top of that, Evans is now looking to achieve the next great milestone. In clinching his 9th consecutive 1,000 yard receiving season Evans tied Hall of Famer Tim Brown for second longest streak in NFL history. The only player with more is Jerry Rice with eleven consecutive seasons of 1,000 receiving yards.
This accomplishment also tied Evans with four others as players to have nine 1,000 receiving yard seasons in their careers. Those players are Tim Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, Jimmy Smith and Terrell Owens. Only two players have more 1,000 yard receiving seasons in their career; Randy Moss (10) and Jerry Rice (14).
Moving Up The Touchdowns Leaderboard
Coming into this game Evans ranked 34th all time in receiving touchdowns with 78. Adding the three from this game has moved him up those rankings. And he puts himself in good company on the way.
With his first touchdown Evans tied a pair of Hall of Fame receivers in Charlie Taylor and Harold Carmichael. Both played in the league for 14 seasons and were voted to the All Decade Team in the 60’s (Taylor) and 70’s (Carmichael). With his second touchdown he passed them both to move into 32nd all time.
With his final touchdown of the afternoon, Evans moved up the rankings yet again. This time tying Art Powell and Panthers legend Steve Smith for 30th all time. There was something so poetic about catching the go ahead touchdown to eliminate the Panthers from the playoffs and tying Smith in the record books in one epic moment.
Evans now needs one more touchdown catch to move into 28th all time, tying Reggie Wayne and Anquan Boldin. If he can catch two more in the regular season finale then he will move into a tie for 25th all time. In doing so he would tie Brandon Marshall, Calvin Johnson and former teammate and Super Bowl champion Antonio Brown.
Receiving Yard Records
Evans still has a ways to go to flirt with the top of this list. However, he did move up a few spots on the all time ranking last week. With his 200+ yard performance Evans has now cracked the top 50 all time and currently sits at 44th.
There were two active players that Evans jumped, as all three continue to write their legacy. One of seven time pro bowler AJ Green. The other was eight time pro bowler Travis Kelce. Both could find themselves in the Hall of Fame one day and both have played more seasons than Evans.
Evans also passed Hall of Famer Lance Alworth last week. Alworth played 11 years in the league and was one of the most dynamic weapons of his time. Just an all time great that Evans has put himself in the company of.
Looking ahead, Evans is 147 yards from passing the next man ahead of him for 43rd all time. The current holder of this position is a name Bucs’ fans will know well. Buccaneers Super Bowl Champion from the 2002 team, Keyshawn Johnson.