Should Bucs fans be concerned about the slow start of Mike Evans and OJ Howard?
Everyone seems to be asking what is wrong with the Bucs offense? And specifically where is Mike Evans and OJ Howard in this offense?
The Bucs have scored 37 points in two games this season. That is a far cry from last years record setting pace when the Bucs scored 48 points in the opener on the road in New Orleans.
After finishing third in the league last year averaging 415 yards a game, the 2019 version of the Bucs offense is 25th in the league averaging 292 yards a game.
Why the huge difference?
It takes a bit longer than six weeks of training camp and two regular season games to really learn a new offense and be comfortable in its execution.
Byron Leftwich is the new offensive coordinator and play caller for the Bucs and it will take a few more games to get everyone in sync and on the same page.
Although the Bucs are 25th in the league in total offense, the offense is much more balanced than it was a year ago.
The Bucs are averaging 110 yards a game on the ground and 181 yards in the air.
Running back Ronald Jones has more total yards through the first two games of this season than he did all of last season, and Peyton Barber after a slow start in game 1 against the 49ers, seemed to find his groove against Carolina running the ball for 82 yards and a touchdown.
In the passing game, the connection between Winston and Mike Evans has been somewhat missing so far this season.
OJ Howard has been a disappointment so far and Howard needs to have a breakout game sooner rather than later.
Evans has six catches for 89 yards and no touchdowns through the first two games of the season. Compare that to last year when Evans had seven catches for 147 yards and a touchdown in the season opener against the Saints.
Through the first two games of last season Evans had 17 catches for 230 yards and two touchdowns.
OJ Howard has just four catches on the season for 32 yards. Last year Howard had five catches through the first two games, but was averaging 30 yards a catch with two touchdowns.
Bruce Arians said a couple of times during training camp that this was going to be a breakout year for Chris Godwin. He went on to say that Godwin would have 100 catches this season.
After his eight catch performance last Thursday against Carolina, Godwin is on pace for 88 catches this season.
Bruce Arians indicated earlier this week in his press conference that the opposing defense dictates who gets the ball. It’s not a matter of the offense not targeting Evans or Howard.
It’s just a matter of time before Mike Evans has a breakout game. With the emergence of Chris Godwin, teams will start to bring more double coverages to his side of the field which will leave Evans in one on coverage and that is sure work to Evans’s advantage.
Should we be concerned about the slow of Mike Evans and OJ Howard? No, both players are due for a breakout game which could happen this week against the NY Giants.