Evans' 209 Yards Lead Bucs Past Redskins 27-7
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Mike Evans was too big. Too deceptively quick. When the Washington Redskins had a linebacker trail him down the middle of the field in the fourth quarter, it was the biggest no-contest in a game that turned into, well, a no-contest.
The 6-foot-5, 231-pound rookie had 209 yards receiving Sunday, nearly setting the franchise record, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers forced three turnovers and sacked Robert Griffin III six times Sunday in a 27-7 win that broke a five-game losing streak.
Evans finished with seven catches — he's had at least four in every game in his young NFL career — and a pair of touchdowns. He accounted for 73 percent of Josh McCown's 288 yards passing.
His 51-yard catch set up a field goal in the first half, and his touchdowns of 36 and 56 yards came in the second, the last one after an inside move that left linebacker Perry Riley trailing hopelessly behind.
The No. 7 overall pick from Texas A&M became the first rookie with three consecutive 100-yard games with at least one touchdown in each since Randy Moss in 1998, according to STATS. He was seven yards shy of Vincent Jackson's team record of 216, set two years ago.
Johnthan Banks returned an interception for a touchdown, and McCown completed 15 of 23 passes for the Buccaneers (2-8), whose offense came to life after scoring 17 or fewer points in their last four games.
Griffin was 23 of 32 for 207 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for the Redskins (3-7), who were booed early and often. They also lost two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams to a sprained right knee and an ankle injury and left guard Shawn Lauvao to a concussion. Kai Forbath — who had made 15 of 16 field goal attempts coming in — was wide right from 47 and 50 yards.
The Buccaneers had forced only 12 turnovers in their first nine games — much to the chagrin of defensive-minded coach Lovie Smith — but their three Sunday were textbook examples of teamwork.
Danny Lansansah's running-leap interception on the game's first play from scrimmage probably doesn't happen without Banks' hit on intended receiver Niles Paul while Paul twice bobbled the ball. Banks' 19-yard return to the pylon was made possible because Mason Foster tipped the pass. Foster later jarred the ball loose from Roy Helu after a 13-yard gain, and Akeem Spence recovered the fumble in a pile.
That's not to say that Tampa Bay is about to turn into a juggernaut. One sequence in the first half was a deflating example of bad football.
Washington punted. Marcus Thigpen muffed it. The Redskins recovered deep in Tampa Bay territory.
Then came three straight penalties: an illegal block by Washington's Tom Compton (10 yards), a facemask call against Tampa Bay's Lavonte David (15 yards), and illegal formation on Compton (5 yards).
Two plays later, Griffin held the ball too long and was sacked by Gerald McCoy. The offensive line then broke down and Griffin was sacked by Jacquies Smith. The drive began on the 17, made it to the 6 and ended at the 29 — and wound up point-less with Forbath missed the field goal.
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