Preview and Prediction: Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
By Austin Gayle
Mike Evans Will Test David Amerson
Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans, a fist-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft out of Texas A&M, has single-handedly kept Tampa Bay’s passing attack afloat, bringing in a team-high 40 receptions for 545 yards and six touchdowns.
And the Buccaneers’ captain won’t sink their ship against Oakland on Sunday.
With Tampa Bay receiver Vincent Jackson out because of a torn ACL, Evans has taken over as the true No. 1 receiver for Winston and the Buccaneers; he leads the team with 75 targets, 41 more than any other player on the team.
At 6’5”, 231 pounds, Evans possesses a rare combination of elite size and athleticism, a combination that often leaves opposing cornerbacks in his wake along the sideline.
Though Raiders cornerback David Amerson will work to avoid falling into said wake on Sunday, he should bring a swimsuit to be safe.
Amerson, a former second-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft by the Washington Redskins, has revitalized his career in Oakland, cementing himself as the Raiders’ No. 1 cornerback with 11 pass breakups and two interceptions this season. However, his strong play has yet to become consistent.
Against Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson, Amerson put together a strong performance, holding the big, physical receiver to just two receptions for nine yards. Just two weeks before, San Diego Chargers receiver Tyrell Williams exposed Amerson, as he brought in five receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown.
The Amerson that shows up in Raymond James Stadium will dictate the level of success both Evans and the Buccaneers’ offense has on Sunday.