Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Is there a better group of pass catchers in the NFL during these first two weeks of the 2018 season?
I don’t think so.
Some of the success that the quarterback position has had over the course of two games, has a lot to do with the abilities and talent levels of the Bucs’ wide outs and tight ends. The Bucs’ receivers finished a near perfect day in total receptions with 22 catches for 368 yards. This group only had five missed targets on the day which allowed for the offense to be put into scoring drives.
Jackson impressed the most with his big play ability. So far in 2018, Jackson seems to have put some focus on his route running abilities. He seems to be running cleaner routes and creating distance between himself and the defender covering him. Jackson has kept the opposing teams defensive backfield honest by making them commit to safety help over the top. He’s also able to become a distraction for the defense to allow the other skill players to get open for their quarterback.
In case you didn’t catch the Red Flag Podcast yesterday, we talked about a very important records for both Jackson and Evans. Jackson tied Hall of Famer Jerry Rice for most touchdowns of 60 yards or more with 23. Evans also tied Bucs’ legend Jimmy Giles for most touchdown reception in Buccaneers’ history with 34. Sunday was a very prolific day for the skill players.
Godwin also continues to impress as he left Sunday’s match-up with 56 yards and a score. Godwin’s ability to run precise routes contributes to his overall ability to be open and trustworthy.
Howard also had another monster day somewhere in the ballpark of 96 yards and a score. Howard has been a star tight end in the past two games, leaving Cameron Brate and Anthony Auclair out of the picture, as far as coming up on the stat sheet goes.
Brate had one play in particular that would’ve produced a long run for Peyton Barber. Brate got beat on the left side of the line, allowing a Philly defender to wrap up Barber for a short gain. This is an area that Brate has been progressing in, as with Howard.
Auclair has contributed mostly as a blocker and pass protector with not a ton of snaps on offense.
Overall, this position group has had the chance to be great thus far and has produced a ton of highlight reels to enjoy in between game days. Some are concerned with the lack of Brate and Humphries since Fitzpatrick has been the starting quarterback, but there’s no need to worry as both will get opportunities as the season moves along.
BDA Grade: B
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