After another disheartening loss at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday – the ninth home loss decided by one score or less since 2014 – there was plenty of blame to go around. From steadily declining play at quarterback to an inability to generate any pass rush, the list of reasons the Bucs are 3-4 as opposed to 4-3 are a mile long.

But according to Bucs receiver Mike Evans, you can add his play to the reason Tampa Bay couldn’t win in the end on Sunday.

“Jameis threw me great balls on third down and I didn’t make the play that I could’ve made, easily,” an always humble Evans said after the game. “I didn’t make those. That’s on me.”

WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Specifically, he noted that two of the final three drives could’ve won the game had he made a critical reception. After catching the two-point conversion to extend Tampa Bay’s lead to 24-17 in the fourth quarter, the third-year pro couldn’t connect with Jameis Winston. On the Bucs final drive in regulation and first of overtime, both three-and-outs, Evans caught one pass on five targets.

Following Raiders’ kicker Sebastian Janikowski’s second missed field goal to keep the game alive, this one in overtime, the Bucs offense took a shot deep on its first play. It seemed like a well-timed effort to catch Oakland off guard, but its secondary, ranked 32nd coming into the game, had the ball well covered. Evans, however, said he had just run out of gas chasing it.

“On one he threw a great ball, but I just didn’t have enough juice to get it,” Evans said. “I have to do a better job, more conditioning … we did our defense a disservice for all the three-and-outs we had.”

For all their miscues – which went beyond the incompletions – the Bucs were still given every chance to win this game. Incredibly, the Raiders overcame an NFL record 23 penalties for 200 yards, something players couldn’t even believe.

“They beat us in penalties, you’re saying?” Evans asked. “And they still got the win. It’s crazy. They’re a real good team. If they stopped the penalties, they could be great.”

Evans, who drew double coverage for most of the afternoon, was asked to describe to fans the feeling in the locker room after such a deflating game.

“I can’t. I hate losing, my teammates hate losing and it was that close,” he said. “We thought we had it won and they took it from us. Great game by them but it hurts really badly. That’s the only thing I can say.

“It sucks, but good thing we get to do something about it Thursday.”

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About the Author: Zach Shapiro

Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders. Contact him at: [email protected]
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Horse
Horse
5 years ago

Coaching has to take a big share of this loss and so does the GM. You don’t have the right players to be winners this season. After listening to the scouts on Buccaneers.com during camp this past July, I wondered about their lack of football experience playing in college and the NFL. I’m not sure we have a strong talented scout team. What real experience does Licht have pertaining talent,skills,desire when it comes to selecting players?

76Buc
76Buc
5 years ago

Actually, Licht has quite a bit of experience Horse. He came up through the scouting ranks.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  76Buc
5 years ago

Really? What kind of college and pro playing has he experienced himself?

VTBucs
VTBucs
5 years ago

If I was Licht I’d be calling looking to trade for a speedy WR before the trade deadline! Make it happen Licht! This would stretch the field and take some pressure off Evans.

Matthew
Matthew
5 years ago

Evans needs some help I think if we added another weapon it would also help Jameis out so much no doubt Winston is not playing well and while he deserves some blame you can’t ignore the lack of support he has. Jameis excels with the play action pass and with all of our running backs dying it has hurt the PA which has hurt Jameis.

MudManVA
MudManVA
5 years ago

Echo, echo….Evens is being swamped because he is the ONLY WR that can hurt a team. There is no help. Humphries is a nice 3rd down WR, but limited. Brate is ok at TE but not scary. Nobody else for Evans & Winston. (now no RB’s) I Just can’t kill Winston when Evans is the only guy to throw to, and the other team knows that better than anyone else. Quote for TV from Norton, “Evans is the only WR they have, and I guarantee he won’t beat us”. If we are to have any chance for the rest of… Read more »

fredster
fredster
5 years ago

Evans had one bad drop and that’s cool he’s man’d up and said it. Winston also overthrew him multiple times when he was open too. Just a disgusting loss really.

Bschucher
Bschucher
5 years ago

Winston flat out overthrew him and others several times. Nice of Mike to take the heat but it should be on Winston. That is all.