Bucs’ Mike Evans performance in Carolina was ‘as poor as I’ve seen Mike play’

Carolina Panthers strong safety Eric Reid (25) heads past Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13) after intercepting a pass in the first half. [David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/TNS]
Carolina Panthers strong safety Eric Reid (25) heads past Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13) after intercepting a pass in the first half. [David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/TNS]
Published November 5 2018
Updated November 5 2018

TAMPA — A day after Bucs receiver Mike Evans was held to one catch on 10 targets in the Bucs' 42-28 loss to the Panthers, head coach Dirk Koetter called it one of the worst games he's seen Evans have.

"Mike had a rough day yesterday," Koetter said. "That might have been as poor as I've seen Mike play in the whole time I've been here."

It was just the third time in 69 NFL games that Evans, who entered the day averaging 110 receiving yards a game, was held to one reception or less.

The Bucs went to Evans early on as he  was lined up against Carolina cornerback James Bradberry in man situations and also doubled teamed on other occasions.

Five of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's first seven throws were intended for Evans.

"Mike has typically had good days against Bradberry, so we had a lot of stuff gameplanned for him," Koetter said. "But Mike really struggled yesterday, and we probably should have moved on sooner. … Then there were times in the seoncd half where Mike did win and we should have been looking at him and weren't."

Evans was targeted eight times before making his first reception of the game, a 16-yard gain for 16 yards with 9:45 remaining in the third quarter.

After Sunday's game, Bradberry expressed the respect he has for Evans. The two exchanged jerseys on the field after the game.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at [email protected] Follow @EddieInTheYard.

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