Godwin was one of four Buccaneers pass catchers to benefit from another prolific effort from Ryan Fitzpatrick. The second-year receiver now has a pair of touchdowns over his first two games and has hauled in 80 percent of his 10 targets in a secondary role behind starters Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson. Godwin encouragingly played the same 29 snaps that fellow wideout Adam Humphries did, so as expected, Godwin is essentially serving as the co-No.3 wideout to open the campaign.
The highly anticipated kickoff to the talented second-year receiver's campaign went relatively well, although he checked in fourth in targets on the team behind Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson (concussion) and Adam Humphries. Godwin is expected to see a sizable increase in his role during the 2018 season, but Sunday's volume approximated what he saw on an average non-starting week during his rookie campaign. However, with Jackson now officially in the league's concussion protocol, Godwin could be in line for a starting opportunity against the Eagles in Week 2 at a minimum.
The second-year wideout has had no shortage of positive press all summer, drawing raves for both his standout practices and productive preseason performances. Early in training camp, head coach Dirk Koetter had remarked that the team viewed Godwin as a starter, although at the time his comments could have easily been interpreted to mean that the Penn State product had the talent to thrive in that role if called upon. There's apparently a deeper meaning to Koetter's words based on the Bucs' first depth chart, although how it all translates to the field remains to be seen. Tampa opens its season with a road tilt Sunday against the Saints.
Godwin caught each of his three targets for 27 yards and a touchdown in Friday's preseason game against the Lions.
DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans were the starters, but Godwin and Adam Humphries also got plenty of run early in the contest, with the second-year pro drawing all his targets before halftime. Although volume remains a concern, Godwin has lived up to the hype this preseason with seven catches for 55 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets. He probably won't play a ton of snaps early in the season, but he should get high-value opportunities on downfield passes and red-zone targets. The Bucs will have Ryan Fitzpatrick under center for a Week 1 game in New Orleans.
Head coach Dirk Koetter has labeled Godwin as a starting receiver heading into 2018, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. "Chris is playing really well right now, " Koetter said. "We look at it as if we have four starting receivers. All four of those guys, the only guy that really hasn't been a starter (in the NFL) is Chris. The other three have been, and we believe Chris is every bit in that same category.''
There may be a bit of semantics at play here, but the gist of Koetter's message is clear: Godwin is going to be on the field plenty during the coming season. While veteran DeSean Jackson is likely to still be listed as the No. 2 receiver on the depth chart, there are plenty of indications that label won't be adhered to in a traditional sense in the Bucs offense this year. Stroud reports Jackson -- who's enjoyed a strong training camp in his own right -- has been seeing more slot work in three-receiver sets during camp practices, leaving the 6-foot-1, 209-pound Godwin on the perimeter opposite Mike Evans. That formation figures to have a number of advantages associated with it, including providing Koetter more opportunities to call running plays toward the side opposite Evans -- a strategy that wasn't too successful last season when the much slighter Jackson was positioned there. Godwin acquitted himself well in his opportunities with extended snaps in 2017, including over the final two games (10 receptions for 209 yards and a touchdown) while spelling Jackson after the latter's season-ending ankle injury. Preseason games could shed further light on the different ways the team envisions deploying the second-year wideout, but the full extent of Godwin's increased involvement is unlikely to be revealed until Week 1.
|4||9/30/18||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 5|
|6||10/14/18||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|8||10/28/18||@ CIN||1:00 pm|
|9||11/4/18||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|11||11/18/18||@ NYG||1:00 pm|
|15||12/16/18||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ DAL||1:00 pm|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||2||34||525||15.4||70||1||4||1||27|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||0||13||171||13.2||20||3||1||0||11|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||7||7.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||2||1||0||1||0||0||1||0|