2017 Player Recap: Chris Godwin

2017 Player Recap: Chris Godwin

This past year’s draft class produced four starters for the Buccaneers this season: safety Justin Evans, linebacker Kendell Beckwith, tight end O.J. Howard and wide receiver Chris Godwin.

It may seem like the latter only turned up the heat toward the end of the season, but that’s far from the case. The fact that quarterback Jameis Winston had so many targets this season meant that Godwin’s opportunities as a rookie were of course limited, but he remained a viable receiver throughout the season.

He was active for all 16 games and caught his first NFL pass during Week 3 in Minnesota. He actually ended up catching three passes that game for a total of 44 yards. Twenty-six of those yards came on back-to-back receptions for the Penn State product in the fourth quarter, providing a glimpse into his reliability very early on in his first season.

Godwin had a couple games of 60+ yards before ultimately showing off his growth in the season’s last two games. In Week 16 against the Carolina Panthers, Godwin amassed 98 yards on six receptions, giving him a 32.67 yard-per-catch average, his highest of the season and in turn, his career.

Godwin’s 525 receiving yards on the season are good for fourth-most among rookie wide receivers in 2017, made even more impressive by the aforementioned plethora of targets for Winston to throw to and the caliber of men in front of Godwin in the position.

The cherry on top of Godwin’s 2017 season came on the very last game at home against the New Orleans Saints. Not only did Godwin record over 100 yards receiving, which he and wide receiver Adam Humphries would both do, giving Tampa Bay its first pair of 100+ yard receivers in a single game since September of 2016, but Godwin also scored his first NFL touchdown. It also happened to be the game-winner in an absolutely thrilling divisional contest in which the Buccaneers came out victorious.

Here’s how that memorable milestone for the rookie went down: the Bucs and Saints were tied at 24 with the clock winding down late in the fourth quarter. Winston engineered a drive that spanned 95 yards on 11 plays to ultimately score on a beautiful 38-yard pass to Godwin. The receiver blew past New Orleans’ Ken Crowley on the play and hauled in the catch along the far sideline at about the 10-yard line. With a couple quick strides, he was in the end zone for his first career NFL touchdown. The Bucs went on to win the game 31-24.

Godwin was named Offensive Player of the Week for his seven-reception, 111-yard performance in Week 17. He is the only other receiver in franchise history besides Mike Evans to earn the honor. He is one of only four Buccaneers rookies to ever be named NFC Offensive Player of the Week, period.

Godwin finished his first NFL season with 34 receptions, 525 yards, a 15.44 yard-per-reception average and a touchdown in 16 games along with NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for Week 17.


Published at Thu, 18 Jan 2018 15:07:29 +0000