- Ronald Jones looks like a different running back than he did his rookie year.
- Chris Godwin looks like the wide receiver the Bucs drafted out of Penn State.
- Shaquil Barrett was the biggest steal during the past free agency period and is closing in on the NFL sack record.
TAMPA BAY, Fla. – With three games left in the season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are finding their groove with a three-game winning streak.
Even though they’re eliminated from the playoffs, they have the possibility of finishing above .500 for the first time since 2016. Things are looking up for the Bucs in Bruce Arians’ first year as head coach.
One thing that is not looking so good is losing star Reciever Mike Evans for the rest of the season due to a hamstring injury. With the winning streak on the line against the Detroit Lions this weekend, US sportsbooks weigh in on how odds are affected because of Evans’ absence.
Since both Jameis Winston and Evans have been together in Tampa, these two have had a great connection. Evans is Winston’s go-to guy as 42% of his career touchdown passes are to Evans. Also grabbing 30% of Winston’s career completions, Evans has been the player that has kept the offense going since being drafted.
So far this year, Winston has had a season many won’t forget throwing for over 4000 yards. Along with Evans, the third-year pro Chris Godwin has also gained over 1000 receiving yards this season. This has made the duo of Evans and Godwin very dangerous this season so far. Winston has had a few options on this offense and the offense ranked third in the league proves that.
Headed into this weekends game against the Detroit Lions without Evans will shake up a few things. Even with the Bucs (-190) favored in this matchup against the Lions (+165) and the over/under set at 47 points, Winston will have to find other ways to keep this offense rolling.
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Godwin is a huge piece to this offense, but Evans is as important if not more important for this offense that averages 29 points per game. So far this year 30% of Evans catches are on third down moving the chains. Winston is looking for Evans a lot as he is leading the team with the most targets at 118 this season.
This Winston and Evans connect will be missed for the rest of the season. Headed into this Lions game, Evans has 17 games with over 120 receiving yards. His production is taking a huge percentage of this offense and will need to be replaced.
Even though Evans will be out, expect for Godwin to step into the spotlight. Godwin is having a great season averaging eight targets per game and that’s with Evans playing. This weekend, look for Godwin to continue to be a problem as he has over 100 targets on the season while reaching the endzone nine times thus far.
Although the focus is this week, Evans will be missed for the rest of the season. Evan's production on the field will have to be replaced by other receivers such as Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson.
In Winston's 11 game-winning drives, he has gotten Evans involved seven times out those 11. If another game-winning drive is needed this weekend, other targets including will need to step up.
Dentarius is a long time sports blogger. He also has a YouTube channel covering many different daily sports subjects. He is always researching sports history, learning different things about NFL, NBA, and other sports.