CLEVELAND — As milestones go, it was a big one. Mike Evans’ 28-yard catch in the third quarter against the Browns allowed him to become the first Bucs player to record at least 10,000 receiving yards for his career.
In fact, Evans is only the 48th player in NFL history to accomplish that feat and only the fifth active player to do so.
Evans didn’t have a very productive game overall in the 23-17 loss Sunday. He had only two catches for 31 yards on nine targets. He also was called for offensive pass interference, erasing a 16-yard reception in the second quarter.
“I had some good opportunities,” Evans said. “In the first half I caught a pass, a stopper. The dude pulled my jersey, so I thought it was an obvious call on him. ... We still moved the ball down the field (and) before the half we were about to score a touchdown. I think I caught (another) ball inbounds. I thought I had two feet in. They didn’t review it. So we get a field goal out of that. Tough game.”
Evans already owns an NFL record with eight consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons to start his career. But he admitted eclipsing the 10,000 mark was special.
In fact, Evans is among only six players with 10,000 receiving yards and at least 75 touchdowns through their first nine seasons. The includes Jerry Rice, Calvin Johnson, Marvin Harrison, Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald.
“It’s a blessing,” Evans said. “I’ll always be appreciative of what I’ve done. Hopefully, I can continue to help the team win though.”
As good as Evans has been, an even more remarkable story is the play of Chris Godwin. Coming off an ACL/MCL injury he sustained late last January, he has slowly worked himself back into form.
On Sunday, Godwin led the Bucs with 12 catches for 110 yards, including his second touchdown in as many games. The 110 yards were the most in a game for Godwin since he had 143 vs. Atlanta on Dec. 5 last season.
A catch, then relief
Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett went out with a bang. Making his last start before he turns the reins over to Deshaun Watson, whose 11-game suspension ends Monday, Brissett led the Browns’ comeback. His 12-yard touchdown pass to David Njoku sent the game into overtime.
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What was Brissett’s reaction to the one-handed grab?
“I can’t say because I will get fined,” said Brissett, laughing. “But I said the ‘s’ word. Honestly, it was a great catch. ... I thought I threw it too high and I was about to start crying. I saw him pull it down and I could’ve ran up and kissed him.”
By the numbers
6 Game-opening TD drives for Browns this season. Cleveland had lost the previous five in which they opened with a score.
6 Games without a Bucs interception until Mike Edwards’ pick in the end zone to end the first half. Tampa Bay’s last interception came in the fourth quarter of the Chiefs game (Oct. 2), when Sean Murphy-Bunting picked off Patrick Mahomes.
8 Consecutive games with at least six catches by Bucs receiver Chris Godwin, a franchise record.
56 Rushing yards on the Bucs’ opening scoring drive, more than they totaled for entire games against Green Bay (34), Kansas City (3), Carolina (46), Baltimore (44) and Los Angeles (51).
96 Different players who have caught a touchdown from Tom Brady. Bucs tight end Ko Kieft is the latest.
Times staff writer Joey Knight contributed to this report.
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