The third-year receiver had come in to the 2016 campaign determined to put what he felt was a disappointing 2015 season behind him, one in which he'd led the NFL in drops and hauled in just over 50 percent of his targets. Evans responded by establishing new career highs across the board, and essentially served as the last man standing in the Bucs receiving corps after injuries felled the likes of Vincent Jackson and Cecil Shorts over the course of the season. He was a highly viable red-zone threat once again as well, hauling in nine of 19 targets and seven touchdowns inside the 20. While his 55.5 percent catch rate still leaves plenty of room for improvement, Evans undeniably took yet another step forward in 2016, and his massive size will continue to render him a prototypical No. 1 receiver heading into 2017. An upgrade of the personnel behind him on the depth chart will likely go a long way into making the Texas A&M product an even more lethal threat next season.
Evans secured less than half his targets but did end up catching the game-winning touchdown, his 12th of the season. The score enabled him to equal the career high in that category that he established in his rookie 2014 campaign. Although he saw an increasing amount of defensive attention as Bucs pass catchers progressively went down with injury throughout the season, Evans still managed to notch a career-best 96 receptions for 1,321 yards, also a high-water mark. He'll thus enter the offseason ready to build on his already impressive rapport with QB Jameis Winston as Tampa looks to improve on its 9-7 record in 2017.
Evans gathered in seven of eight targets for 97 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 31-24 loss to the Saints.
Evans bounced back with a much better performance than he'd mustered against this same Saints squad two weeks ago, when he'd been limited to four catches for 42 yards. The third-year wideout turned in his best reception and yardage totals since Week 12 versus the Seahawks, and scored for the first time since that contest as well. Just named to his first Pro Bowl earlier in the week, Evans will try to close out his stellar 2016 campaign with a strong showing against the Panthers in Week 17.
Coming off a 2015 season in which he'd led the NFL in drops, Evans had vowed to bounce back in the 2016 campaign. Accordingly, he and QB Jameis Winston put in considerable time in the offseason working on their overall rapport, and the effort resulted in the third-year wideout's first Pro Bowl selection. Evans has set career highs in catches (84) and targets (156), although the latter accomplishment has partly come as a result of the multitude of injuries suffered by the Bucs at the wide receiver position. Meanwhile, Evans has also hit double digits in touchdowns (10) for the second time in three pro seasons, and needs just 48 yards over the final two games to surpass the career high of 1,206 yards he established last season. The majority of his receptions have been meaningful as well, as 74 of the aforementioned 84 have moved the chains. He becomes the first Bucs receiver to garner Pro Bowl honors since current teammate Vincent Jackson accomplished the feat following the 2012 season.
After receiving a day off Tuesday, Evans was involved in every drill during the open portion of Wednesday's session. Consequently, his status isn't up in the air for Saturday's divisional matchup in New Orleans against a unit that, outside of containing Evans and company in Week 14, has conceded eight touchdowns to wideouts over the last six games.
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||15||68||1051||15.5||56||12||20||4||46|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||14||74||1206||16.3||68||3||21||2||63|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||16||96||1321||13.8||45||12||15||1||81|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||4||4.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||5||5.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2014||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
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