CINCINNATI — Mike Evans turned in the biggest receiving day of any Bucs receiver this season, posting 179 yards on seven receptions in Tampa Bay's 37-34 loss to the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.
But after the game, Evans preferred to discuss one pass he wish he had back.
Before the Bengals ran out to a 21-0 lead, the Bucs were driving about seven minutes into a scoreless game when quarterback Jameis Winston tried to find Evans over the middle at the 3-yard line. The ball sailed high past Evans and into the waiting hands of Shawn Williams in the end zone, the first of four Winston picks.
After the game, Winston took blame for the overthrow, but Evans said he could have come up with the ball.
"It was windy, but it didn't affect us," Evans said. "We're professionals. I mis-timed my jump on that first pick in the end zone. That's on me. And then I think I had a couple drops in there. I've got to play better than that. I let our team down a bit.
"I can get that," Evans said. "I'm one of the best receivers on the planet. I can get that. I've got to be better."
Winston targeted Evans on his second interception — also in the first quarter — but the ball was thrown right to linebacker Preston Brown.
Evans' 179 receiving yards on Sunday marked the second-most of his career. He recorded 209 yards on seven catches at Washington during his 2015 rookie season
"Mike did very well," Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said. "They did something they haven't done this year. They matched (William Jackson) on DeSean and (Dre Kirkpatrick) on Mike. Our receivers and tight ends present matchup problems for teams, so the ball ended up finding Mike more today."
Evans broke free of Kirkpatrick along the right sideline for a 72-yard touchdown reception from Ryan Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter, the first touchdown in a span of 18 straight Tampa Bay points. That touchdown catch was the longest of Evans' NFL career.
Contact Eduardo A. Encina at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @EddieInTheYard