ATLANTA — Mike Evans got off to a slow start against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, but he still made history.
His first target was intercepted by cornerback Demond Trufant. The time he was targeted, Evans dropped a pass.
But Evans made history with his 17-yard reception from Jameis Winston in the second quarter, joining only Randy Moss as the second player in NFL history to have at least 1,000-yards receiving in each of his first six seasons.
Evans now has 1,017 yards on the season.
At 6-foot-5, 225-pounds, Evans’ receiving idol has always been Moss. He was asked last week what the record means?
“It means a lot, a guy that I’ve looked up to,’’ Evans said. “Everybody has looked up to. He has a catch named after him. How cool is that? It’s just great. It would be cool to be just me and him and then hopefully, I’ll stay healthy next year and surpass him. That would be cool.’’
Evans’ catch came during a 95-yard scoring drive in the second quarter, capped by a 1-yard touchdown pass from Winston to defensive tackle Vita Vea, who lined up at fullback.
While Evans was making history, fellow receiver Chris Godwin was tearing the Falcons apart. Godwin had six catches on six targets for 151 yards and two touchdowns in the first half to give him a team-leading nine on the season.
Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich used to throw to Moss as a quarterback at Marshall when the Vikings receiver would come back in the summer to work out in Huntington, W. Va. He sees a lot of similarities in their games.
“It’s the plays that they make," Leftwich said. "That’s the first thing I told Mike when I first met Mike. Not to compare Mike to Randy, right? You’re talking about a Hall of Fame guy, you’re talking about a guy in his sixth year. But at the same time, having an opportunity to throw to Randy when I was a young football player in college, seeing Mike, seeing how they both move, how they’re both able to put their body in position to make certain plays. For them to be tall, they do unique things to be tall wide receivers.’’