In this series of articles, our resident tape wizard Greg Cosell will take an in-depth look at some of the more interesting fantasy players for the 2020 NFL season. It’s a peek behind the curtain of the film room, as these are Greg’s raw, unfiltered notes he takes as he watches a player.
Tom Brady has himself some new toys. Whether or not you think Brady’s play is slipping — heck, the guy turns 43 in August — there’s no doubt the supporting cast he had in New England last season was one of the worst of his entire career. That won’t be the case in Tampa Bay, where Mike Evans and Chris Godwin form perhaps the game’s best 1-2 punch on the perimeter. Does the tape show a duo that could go down as one of the best of all time? More predictably, how does the tape show coach Bruce Arians and OC Byron Leftwich like to use Evans and Godwin?
Evans predominantly aligned on the ball and was featured as the Bucs boundary “X” receiver.
From the boundary X alignment, Evans worked both outside the numbers (out cuts, fades,” 9” routes) and inside the numbers (digs, bang “8s”, slants).
Evans also played snaps at the field X (at times in stacked alignment with Godwin), and in multiple slot alignments (conventional slot, inside slot to trips).
Evans’ deeper intermediate and vertical routes often came off “shot play” concepts with 12 personnel.
Week 3: Giants
Evans stats: 8 catches, 190 yards, 3 TD (15 targets)
4 receptions came from boundary X: Deep dig 18 yards; Bang-8 20-yard TD; Dig 15 yards; “9” route 44 yards
Evans’ slot fade from trips 21-yard TD – CB Janoris Jenkins was in man coverage
Deep post 55 yards from reduced split: Shot play out of balanced 12. Matchup was Evans versus Jenkins and Evans ran by Jenkins on the deep post and 9 route.
Week 8: Titans
- Evans stats: 11 catches, 198 yards, 2 TD (12 targets)
- Deep corner from field X (stack with Godwin) — 43 yards
- Point man in wide trips bunch: Curl 15 yards
- Evans worked both outside and the middle of the field from slot alignments and reduced splits.
- Titans played more zone than man, in their man coverage concepts backup CB LeShaun Sims was often matched on Evans.
Week 9: Seahawks
- Evans stats: 12 catches, 180 yards, 1 TD (16 targets)
- Evans was the Bucs boundary X receiver: Bang 8 (21 yards), Dig (16 yards), Out cuts, slants
- Evans continued to align in multiple splits at boundary X.
- There were again snaps when Evans was the field X in which he was in a two-man stack with Godwin: an example was his 25-yard gain on the bang 8 route.
- Seahawks played more zone than man with Cover-3 being the predominant coverage.
- Godwin predominantly aligned off the ball and was featured as the Bucs’ Z receiver – he was the movement/motion receiver.
- Godwin was used in “zin motion,” at times crossing the formation when he motioned as the Z receiver. This was a staple of the Bucs passing game and Godwin ran multiple routes off zin motion, including out cuts and bang 8s.
- Stacked alignments with Evans: Godwin was the off-the-ball receiver with Evans on the ball.
- Two things consistently stood out: Godwin worked the middle of the field effectively (in-breakers and seams), and he showed excellent run-after-catch on WR screens from multiple alignments.
- When Godwin was to the trips side of the offensive formation, he aligned at all three locations: #1, #2, and inside slot.
Week 2: Panthers
- Godwin stats: 8 catches, 121 yards, 1 TD (9 targets)
- Z receiver in 12 personnel 3x1 set with Evans as the boundary X – “Zin” motion: Out route for 22 yards and a bang 8 for a 20-yard TD.
- Godwin lined up in multiple splits at Z out of 3x1 sets: bang 8 or 22 yards.
- Stacked alignments in 2x2 and empty sets — Godwin was the off-the-ball receiver.
- Godwin also lined up as the point man in tight trips bunch to the field.
Week 4: Rams
- Godwin stats: 12 catches, 172 yards, 2 TD (14 targets)
- Godwin had snaps as the movement receiver in tight trips bunch.
- Multiple routes off zin motion.
- WR screens out of multiple alignments.
- Slot receiver inside of Evans in 2x2 sets – out cuts featured.
- #2 to trips in 3x1 sets with Evans the boundary X.
Week 5: Saints
- Godwin stats: 7 catches, 125 yards, 2 TD (9 targets)
- Godwin lined up as the inside slot to trips in 11 1x3 sets: In-breaking route for a 26-yard TD.
- #2 to trips in 3x1 sets with Evans the boundary X — Godwin 26 yards on seam route
- Dagger concept with Godwin from #1 to trips running the dig route — 26-yard TD
- Godwin had a fourth-and-1 snap at the boundary X out of 22 personnel.
Week 6: Panthers
- Godwin stats: 10 catches, 151 yards (12 targets)
- Godwin had another snap at boundary X, this time out of 13 personnel.
- #1 to trips in 11 3x1 sets.
- Out cuts from #2 to trips.
Week 12: Falcons
- Godwin stats: 7 catches, 184 yards, 2 TD (8 targets)
- Point man in tight trips bunch to the boundary — Godwin scored a 71-yard TD on a vertical seam route.
- Stacked alignment to the field: Godwin off the ball with Evans on the ball — Godwin 22 yards on out cut.
- #2 to twins inside of Evans in 2x2 sets — 30 yards on the vertical seam.
- #2 to trips out of empty set — 26 yards on the vertical seam.
- Crossing route from reduced split Z out of 6 OL — 33 yards.
Week 15: Lions
- Godwin stats: 5 catches, 121 yards (8 targets)
- Point man in tight trips bunch to the field — 51 yards on intermediate crosser
- Stacked alignment to the field with Godwin off the ball – 38 yards on corner route.