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Mike Evans becomes Bucs’ all-time leader in yards from scrimmage

Notes | The ninth-year receiver eclipses James Wilder’s franchise record.
Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans catches touchdown pass during the second quarter Sunday night.
Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans catches touchdown pass during the second quarter Sunday night. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Published Oct. 3|Updated Oct. 3

TAMPA — The Bucs’ undisputed first-half star achieved a milestone while keeping his team within reach of Kansas City.

With his 30-yard reception on Tampa Bay’s second-quarter touchdown drive, Mike Evans broke James Wilder’s career franchise record (9,449) for yards from scrimmage. Evans finished the drive with the 77th touchdown catch of his career (a 13-yarder) to tie Joey Galloway for 33rd on the NFL’s all-time list.

His 1-yard scoring catch from Tom Brady with 15 seconds remaining in the first half marked his 17th multi-touchdown game since entering the NFL in 2014. Only former teammate Antonio Brown has as many during that span; the Raiders’ Davante Adams has 16.

Evans finished with eight catches for 103 yards, giving him 9,546 career yards from scrimmage. Warrick Dunn (7,690) is third on the Bucs career list.

No run game rhythm, again

Bucs tailback Leonard Fournette had a 5-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter Sunday night, but was held to minus-3 yards on three carries in his team's 41-31 loss to the Chiefs.
Bucs tailback Leonard Fournette had a 5-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter Sunday night, but was held to minus-3 yards on three carries in his team's 41-31 loss to the Chiefs. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

Forced to play catchup the entire night, the Bucs never established a ground attack, perpetuating a trend that now has spanned the last three games.

Tampa Bay finished with 3 yards on six carries, only 2 yards shy of the franchise record for fewest rushing yards in a game established in a 32-28 loss to Washington on Oct. 22, 1989. The Bucs now have totaled 112 rushing yards in their last three games, 40 fewer than they gained on the ground in a season-opening win against the Cowboys.

“We’ve got to take a look,” Brady said.

“I’m sure it’s not just one thing, I’m sure it’s probably several things, and we’ve just got to take the time to evaluate it and see if we can do a better job. Obviously, we’re not going to throw it all the time; we have plenty of good, capable runners, and a line that does a great job in the run game. We just haven’t kind of found our rhythm yet there.”

Speaking of milestones ...

During his de facto first-half clinic (14-for-21, 126 yards, two TDs), Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes eclipsed 20,000 career passing yards.

The significance? He reached the mark in only his 67th game, faster than any NFL quarterback. Matthew Stafford did it in 71.

Sluggish streak extended

Rookie Rachaad White’s fumble on the opening kickoff extended a notorious streak of sorts for the Bucs defense, which now has allowed points on all four of its foes’ opening possessions.

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The Chiefs scored on Mahomes’ 16-yard pass to Travis Kelce two plays after White fumbled at his own 21. The Bucs defense has given up 20 total points (two touchdowns, two field goals) on opening drives.

Entering Sunday, it had allowed 14 points on all other drives combined.

Number of the night

39.4

Distance (in yards) traveled by a scrambling, spinning Mahomes before his 2-yard touchdown throw to Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the second quarter. It’s the third-longest distance traveled by a quarterback on any scoring pass in the last five seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

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