Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Bucs

Chris Godwin fuels Bucs’ big first-half with touchdown receptions

Third-year receiver sets tone early, finishes with career high in catches and yards.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin scores past Los Angeles Rams linebacker Troy Reeder and cornerback Aqib Talib during the first of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) [MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ  |  AP]
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin scores past Los Angeles Rams linebacker Troy Reeder and cornerback Aqib Talib during the first of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) [MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ | AP]
Published Sep. 29, 2019
Updated Sep. 30, 2019

LOS ANGELES — While he spent the past week fighting through a hip injury that forced him to miss the majority of practice this week, Bucs receiver Chris Godwin’s focused on being in uniform Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. And Godwin quickly put any questions about whether the injury would affect him from making an impact.

Throughout this season, Godwin benefited from teammate Mike Evans fighting double teams, and in the Bucs’ 55-40 upset win over the Rams at the Los Angeles Coliseum, Godwin had arguably the best game of his career, totaling 172 receiving yards on 12 receptions, both career highs. His 12 catches are one shy of the Bucs team record for most in a single game.

Godwin had 125 yards at halftime, scoring two of the Bucs’ four first-half touchdowns — his nine receptions in the first half setting a new Bucs record — as Tampa Bay ran out to a surprising 28-17 halftime lead.

“All of this is for nothing if you don’t get a win,” Godwin said. “If you have a big game and you get a win, that’s like the icing on the cake.”

Both of Godwin’s touchdowns came following Bucs interceptions, shortening the field for Tampa Bay.

Seeing how much the hip injury affect Godwin, Bucs coach Bruce Arians was impressed with his performance.

“I can’t say enough about Chris," Arians said. “Chris in practice, he’s hurting and to put that performance out there and again, the way he blocked. He’s a tough bird.”

Safety Jordan Whitehead intercepted a Jared Goff pass that outside linebacker Shaq Barrett deflected to give the Bucs the ball at midfield. The second pick came from inside linebacker Lavonte David, who gave the Bucs the ball at the Rams 9-yard line with his first interception of the season. Godwin scored on the next play.

Godwin's first score was set up by his own 30-yard gain over the middle on a second-and-7 play in which Godwin gained 15 yards after the catch and took the ball to the Rams 2-yard line. Jameis Winston found Godwin in the end zone three plays later.

MORE BUCS: Shaquil Barrett’s unique path to the NFL, the Bucs and the quarterback.

Winston was under pressure and found Godwin toward the back right corner of the end zone for his first touchdown, giving the Bucs a 14-0 lead with 9:57 left in the second quarter.

Tampa Bay went up 21-0 just 1:29 later when Winston hit Godwin on a screen pass from Winston and darted down the right sideline to the end zone, trucking over former Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib on the way.

“I didn’t even see the play, but anytime I get the ball I’m trying to score,” Godwin said. “I was actually frustrated with myself from a couple catches earlier because I didn’t get in the end zone. So I think when I got that ball I tried whatever I could to get into the end zone.”

Godwin’s hip injury forced him to miss practice on Wednesday and Thursday. He was a limited participant on Friday’s final practice of the week, but was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

“It was pretty frustrating,” Godwin said. “I think I pride myself in being out there and practicing and getting those reps. I think that’s really important in getting a feel for the gameplan. So it was pretty frustrating but, I was happy I could help my teammates and contribute to a win.”

After the Bucs went up 21-0, the Rams scored quick touchdowns on each of their next two possessions, cutting the Tampa Bay lead to one possession, The Bucs scored again with 47 seconds remaining in the half on a Ronald Jones five-yard touchdown run, and Greg Zuerlein hit a 58-yard field goal with two seconds left.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert, who finishes with 220 yards rushing and four TDs, breaks away from the Green Bay Packers during the first half of their NFC Championship Game on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. [TONY AVELAR  |  AP]
    Little-known Raheem Mostert, a former skateboarder-turned-surfer-turned-football player out of New Smyrna Beach High, has a historic game, rushing for 220 yards and four touchdowns.
  2. Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill catches a touchdown pass in front of Tennessee Titans defensive back Logan Ryan during the first half of the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. [CHARLIE RIEDEL  |  AP]
    KC falls behind once again, this time 10-0, before rallying in the AFC Championship Game.
  3. East quarterback James Morgan, of Florida International University, (12) during the first half of the East West Shrine football game Saturday. [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
    Morgan, who leads his East team to a pair of touchdowns, raises his draft stock as do a few others the Bucs should keep an eye on.
  4. Jason Garrett had success against the Giants as Cowboys coach. Now he will face Dallas as New York's new offensive coordinator. [RON JENKINS  |  AP]
    The recently fired Dallas Cowboys coach stays in the NFC East.
  5. Steve Young was a supplemental draft pick of the Bucs in 1984 and started 19 games for Tampa Bay in 1985 and 1986 before he was traded to the 49ers for a pair of draft picks in 1987. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS [Tampa Bay Times]
    The Hall of Fame quarterback played two seasons with Tampa Bay before winning a Super Bowl with the 49ers
  6. A Super Bowl matchup involving former Buccaneers great John Lynch, left, and the San Francisco 49ers and Ryan Tannehill, right, and the Tennessee Titans could be tough to stomach for Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans. [Associated Press/DIRK SHADD | Times]
    Rick Stroud | For a lot of reasons, including gifting wins to both teams and GMs who got away, this would be a bad match up for Tampa Bay.
  7. Miami LB Shaquille Quarterman (55) during drills for the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field on Monday. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    “They don’t yet have the mentality of a Miami Hurricane,” the linebacker says during the days leading up to the East-West Shrine Game.
  8. Todd Monken spent two seasons in Tampa Bay, the last as offensive coordinator, before being dismissed along with the rest of head coach Dirk Koetter's staff after the 2018 season.
    Tampa Bay’s former play-caller will be designing game plans for the Bulldogs against the Florida Gators next season.
  9. San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch before an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Minnesota Vikings on Jan. 11. [TONY AVELAR  |  AP]
    The former Bucs and Broncos safety has his team one win from the Super Bowl.
  10. Florida receiver Josh Hammond (18) on the field during practice for the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field on Monday. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Plus Plant High product Jake Fruhmorgen’s journey from Clemson to UF to Baylor to the East-West Shrine Game.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement