You'll have to forgive me, but we're going to take a break from the norm this week. There will be no countdown, there will be no re-hashing of the Missour-ah-pocalypse, and there will be no league-wide discussion A&M players in the NFL.
There will only be Mike.
Evans, you see, had the best performance of his young career and one of the most impressive stat lines of the season. Seven catches, 209 yards, and two touchdowns. Absolutely dominant.
So, how did it happen?
Mike Evans Week 11 Highlights (note: NFL.com does not allow embedding, so y'all will have to settle for a separate window)
1) The stop route
Hey, Washington, the joke's on you. Mike has been practicing stop routes against ridiculously oversized cushions since the day he came to A&M.
(weeps silently into New Republic Dammit Jim! amber)
2) The play he ran against a linebacker
So, at this point in the game Evans had six catches for 100+ and a touchdown... and Washington opted for man coverage with a linebacker.
3) Raw speed
Of course, there were also a couple of plays where Washington had the proper coverage (with proper personnel) and it just didn't matter. He fast.
4) A traditional route tree
But this.... this is the scary part of Mike's game. We remember him as an insanely talented but very unpolished receiver, someone who lined up on the right edge and ran one of four routes
- Hitch / stop
- Slant / shallow cross (rare)
- Johnny scramble drill
We knew it, the opponent knew it, and we knew the opponent knew it. And he was so dang talented that he still skewed the entire secondary to his half of the field.
Now, he's more nuanced. He runs a more diverse route tree, yet his natural size still prevents anyone from jamming him at the line. This, when combined with the (lack of) talent around him, has made the run all the more noteworthy. But it's still not the scariest part.
The scariest part? He's still learning.
Here's a quick rundown of the various media takes on Mike's performance - if nothing else, make sure you hit the Pro Bowl voting link at the bottom.
Have a day, Mike Evans! pic.twitter.com/BXqtsEFf2I— NFL (@nfl) November 17, 2014
Lovie on Mike Evans: "I’ve been around the league a while and I haven’t been around one [rookie] able to do the things [Evans] has done."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 16, 2014
Bucs' Mike Evans now leading all NFL rookies with 794 receiving yards. Only Carolina's Kelvin Benjamin (8) has more than his 7 TD catches.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) November 17, 2014
Mike Evans became 1st rookie WR in NFL history to have 3 straight games w/ at least 7 catches, 100+ receiving yds and TD catch. #Bucs— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) November 17, 2014
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) November 17, 2014