Nov 8, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) drops a pass in the second half against the New York Giants at Raymond James Stadium. The New York Giants defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32-18. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2015 No. 1 overall Jameis Winston needs all the help he can get these days. Playing quarterback as a rookie in the NFL is the most difficult thing a man can do in team sports. But at the moment, he’s not getting a whole lot of help as there really isn’t much around him to help.
The Buccaneers offensive line isn’t much help to him as they are among the worst in the NFL this year. He does get some help from running back Doug Martin, who’s on pace to rush for over 1.000 yards. But his receivers, the guys that are supposed to help him the most, haven’t helped enough.
Besides one 10-catch-for-147-yards-and-1-TD game in Week 4 vs the Carolina panthers, Vincent Jackson hasn’t done much. He hasn’t done anything since Week 6 when he went out with a knee injury. Austin Seferian-Jenkins last played in Week 2 before injuring his shoulder Louis Murphy was last seen in Week 7.
So Winston has been short-handed in the receiver corps all year while trying to get the offense going. Murphy is out with a torn ACL, Jackson but Seferian-Jenkins are rumored to return for Week 10. Mike Evans, Winston’s No. 1 target and healthy since Week 2, hasn’t been the big help he’s supposed to be for a rookie quarterback.
And no one knows this better than Evans, who expressed that in an interview with SportsTalkFlorida.com. He said, “I proclaim myself to be one of the best receivers in the game and I’m not showing it. I’ve gotta be better for this team. I’ve gotta put in the work and I’m gonna come back.”
Evans is on pace for another 1,000-yard season but this year’s isn’t quite as pretty as last year’s. After eight games, the 2nd-year receiver has the 2nd-highest drop-rate in the NFL at 17.9 percent. In Week 9, Evans had 152 yards receiving but caught just eight of his game-leading 19 targets, dropping five vs the New York Giants.
Evans has shown that his size and speed lead can help Winston big plays on a regular basis. He just needs to catch the ball consistently so he and Winston can make the Buccaneers relevant again. Perhaps he can get started this coming Sunday and hopefully for Buccaneers fans, Seferian-Jenkins and Jackson can join him.
Winston needs that.