The Bucs have had a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in the same season just twice in franchise history. Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson first accomplished that feat in 2014, which was Evans’ rookie season. Evans and Chris Godwin both had 1,000-yard seasons in 2019.
But Tampa Bay has never had three 1,000-yard receivers in the same season before.
In fact, it’s happened just five other times in NFL history.
The first occurrence happened in 1980, when Don Coryell’s Air Raid offense in San Diego saw wide receivers John Jefferson (82-1,340-13) and Charlie Joiner (71-1,132-4) team with tight end Kellen Winslow (89-1,1290-9) to each top 1,000 yards receiving.
Washington’s Gary Clark (79-1,229-9), Art Monk (86-1,186-8) and Ricky Sanders (80-1,138-4) were next. They became the first team to have three wide receivers hit that accomplishment in 1989.
In 1995, Atlanta running back/slot receiver Eric Metcalf (104-1,189-8) and wide receivers Terance Mathis (78-1,039-9) and Bert Emanuel (74-1,039-5) all reached the 1,000-yard mark.
The 2004 Indianapolis Colts also had three 1,000-yard receivers. A 28-year old Peyton Manning passed for 4,557 yards and 49 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions that season. Who were his record-setting targets? Future Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (86-1,113 yards-15), Reggie Wayne (77-1,210-12) and Brandon Stokley (68-1,077 yards-10).
Bucs WRs Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown – Photo by: USA Today
The most recent team to have a trio of 1,000-yard receivers was the 2008 Arizona Cardinals. Receivers Larry Fitzgerald (96-1,431-12), Anquan Boldin (89-1,038-11) and Steve Breaston (77-1,006-3) all topped 1,000 yards.
It’s early, but through Week 5 the Bucs’ top three receivers – Evans, Godwin and Antonio Brown – are all on pace to reach 1,000 yards this season. They would be the first trio in Tampa Bay to do that and just the sixth in NFL history to accomplish that feat. The fact that there is an extra 17th game on the schedule only increases the likelihood of that happening.
Evans leads the way for the Bucs this year with 29 catches for 393 yards (13.6 avg.) and four touchdowns. Godwin also has 29 receptions, but for 366 yards (12.6 avg.) and a pair of TDs. Brown, who missed the Rams game, has 20 catches for 325 yards (16.3 avg.) and three scores.
Evans is on pace to catch 98 passes for 1,336 yards and 13 touchdowns, while Godwin is also on pace to reach 98 receptions, but for 1,244 yards and six TDs. Brown is on pace to hit 68 catches for 1,105 yards and 10 scores.
Evans has posted 1,000 yards in each of his first seven years in the league, which is an NFL record. Godwin hit 1,000 yards and led the Bucs in receiving in 2019, his lone Pro Bowl season.
The 33-year old Brown has had seven 1,000-yard seasons in his 12 years in the league. Brown led the NFL in receiving yards in 2014 (1,698) and in 2017 (1,533), but has not had a 1,000-yard season since he posted 1,297 yards and a league-high 15 touchdowns in 2018.
Ironically, the offensive coordinator in Indianapolis in 2004 was Tom Moore, who is Bruce Arians’ offensive assistant in Tampa Bay. Clyde Christensen, the Bucs quarterbacks coach, was the Colts wide receivers coach during the 2004 season. Moore and Christensen could be part of another record-setting trio of wide receivers – this time in Tampa Bay.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
PewterReport.com prides itself on being the most complete, comprehensive news source covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and delivering inside scoop on the team found nowhere else.