It was another heartbreaking 34-32 loss for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Raymond James stadium. The team finishes the season 5-11 for the second straight year and changes are likely coming to the coaching staff.
While it was another somber ending to a season for the Buccaneers, many players showed up and showed out on Sunday, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Here are the top performers from the week 17 loss.
QB Jameis Winston: Whatever it is, Winston has played some of the best football of his career against the Atlanta Falcons. From the second possession on, Winston was nearly flawless. He finished the game completing 22 of 35 passes for 341 yards and four touchdowns. He did throw an interception, but it wasn’t his fault as the pass deflected off of Mike Evans hands. It was another week in which Winston was in full control from the get go and made good decisions all game long. It was a nice season ending game for Winston and a game that made it all but certain that that Winston will be back in 2019.
WR Mike Evans: On a day in which Mike Evans broke the single season receiving record for the Buccaneers by surpassing Mark Carrier’s 1,422 yard mark back in 1989, he also had a heck of a game. In other words, the sky is blue. Evans finished the day with six catches on 9 targets for 106 yards and two touchdowns. It was a typical Mike Evans game and he also became the youngest receiver in NFL history to reach the 6,000 yard mark. Evans will finish the season with 86 catches for 1,524 yards and 8 touchdowns. Ever since being drafted, Evans has been everything the buccaneers could have wanted and more and he and Winston will continue to grow together for years to come.
Chris Godwin: Deja Vu? If you remember, it was week 17 of last season where Chris Godwin had his coming out party at home against the New Orleans Saints. This year, he left no doubt in the minds of Buccaneer fans that he will be the teams #2 receiver going forward. Godwin finished the day with 6 catches on 9 targets for 114 yards and two touchdowns. It was a nice way to end the season for Godwin after having a rough couple of weeks, but you can tell the chemistry between he and Winston is on the rise. With the three main targets being Evans, Godwin and Howard next season, whoever the coach is will have a ton of talent to work with.
Lavonte David: One of the leaders of the defense for many years now, David closed the 2018 season out in typical fashion. He finished the game with 9 tackles, 7 of them being solo ones. He made a couple key stops on third down early in the game and was solid as usual throughout. David should and most likely will be back for Tampa Bay next season.
Honorable mention: JPP, Carlton Davis, Cairo Santos.