By CJ Carlson
Mike Evans has been one of the most consistent and reliable weapons that the NFL has ever seen since he entered the league. It didn’t matter who was throwing the football to him, or how good their overall record was. Chances were that Evans was producing at a high level. This past weekend we got to see Evans and the Buccaneers take down the Carolina Panthers in a 21-18 win. During the win, he made history.
Evans hauled in seven catches for 162 yards and a touchdown. Had he not, the team likely would have lost that game against their divisional rivals. And, if they did, they would have allowed the Panthers to remain in the divisional race while also remaining in third place themselves. Instead, they eliminated the Panthers from contention entirely and secured second place. They stand just one game behind the division leading Atlanta Falcons now. The division lead, despite their record, would secure the Buccaneers a playoff spot in a few months.
Mike Evans Is Consistently Dominant
Back to Mike Evans now, those yards that he brought in on Sunday helped him break 1,000 receiving yards. This was the 10th straight season that he was able to break this milestone, which is every single season that he’s been in the league. On top of that yardage, head coach Todd Bowles mentioned that Evans had surpassed 60 catches in every single season as well. To continue with what Bowles said, “You know he’s getting the ball, and everyone is trying to stop him, and he makes plays over and over. It’s a credit to him and his work ethic. The way he approaches the game, it’s unbelievable.”
Now, Mike Evans has had this record for a few years at this point, but he just keeps on stacking more seasons on top of it. He broke the record with his seventh straight season over 1,000 yards, passing Randy Moss with six. Ever since then, he’s just piled on the numbers to ensure that nobody ever recreates what he’s been able to do in Tampa Bay. Although, if you ask him, he cares more about the victory than the recent accomplishment. Evans said, “I’m happy we got the win, most importantly.
I’m happy with the record, obviously. I had a lot of great quarterbacks and offensive coordinators who believed in me. So, I really appreciate them. Hopefully I can keep that streak going for however long my career goes.”
The next record in front of him is currently held by Hall of Famer Jerry Rice. Rice has the record for the most 1,000 yard receiving seasons throughout a person’s career. He retired with 14 of them, not consecutively, but just over the course of his playing days. With Mike Evans big streak, he’s got 10 on his career. Assuming he keeps this pace, he’ll be able to break this longstanding record in a short four years. And again, he’s doing so with quarterbacks that you wouldn’t expect a wide receiver to get results from. Granted, he had Tom Brady for a couple of those seasons, but he also had Jameis Winston and Baker Mayfield.
The new milestone on Sunday kickstarted a conversation that had been getting talked about for some time now. And that’s to get Mike Evans into the Hall of Fame when he calls it a career. It’s hard to argue against the numbers he’s compiled, no matter how hard you try to do so. To top it all off, you can’t really argue against his winning percentage either, because he did win a Super Bowl. Yes, Tom Brady being on the roster helped. However, that doesn’t take away the ring on Evans finger right now.
When the committee takes a look at his career, his stats, his records, and his Super Bowl, it’s going to be hard to say that he doesn’t deserve it. What makes it even crazier is that Mike is only 30 years old heading into next week’s game. There’s a genuine opportunity for him to keep adding onto his resume, and another Super Bowl would basically make him a guarantee at this point. Well, if he isn’t considered a lock already.