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.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

  1. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, left, and his son Stephen Jones, the team's executive vice president, leave after NFL owners meet to discuss a proposed labor agreement, Thursday Feb. 20, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
  2. Former Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is a free agent after one season in Carolina.
  3. An ESPN analyst's recent criticism of Jameis Winston was based on what he saw as excessive delay-of-game penalties.
  4. FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2016, file photo Pro Football Hall of Fame 2016 inductee Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr., talks with reporters in Canton, Ohio. President Donald Trump pardoned DeBartolo, former San Francisco 49ers owner convicted in gambling fraud scandal. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
  5. Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) passes in the first half of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game against Baylor in New Orleans, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
  6. LSU linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson walks on the field during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Texas, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Austin, Texas.
  7. NFC quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints looks to pass, during the first half of the Pro Bowl on Jan. 26 in Orlando.
  8. Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) passes in the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff game against the Vikings on Jan. 5 in New Orleans.
  9. In this Aug. 8, 2015, file photo former owner of the San Francisco 49ers Edward DeBartolo, Jr., is interviewed before the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. President Donald Trump pardoned DeBartolo, who was convicted in gambling fraud scandal. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
  10. Teddy Bridgewater could be on the market if Drew Brees returns to New Orleans, and Bucs head coach Bruce Arians likes Bridgewater.
  11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians shakes hands with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) after his touchdown pass against the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 8 in Tampa.
  12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is seen during warmups just prior to taking on Houston Texans Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019 in St. Petersburg.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement