Godwin has had a solid year for Bucs

by Gary Shelton on November 25, 2021

in general

Godwin near last season's numbers./TIM WIRT

Thursday, 3 a.m.

This time of year, the air gets thinner. The pressure builds. The end zone seems farther away.

This time of year, football games matter more.

You can mark an NFL season by the holidays. Labor Day is the start, and Halloween is the halfway point. By Thanksgiving, the lights shine brighter. By Christmas, the race is on.

"I think you do start to feel that a little bit," said Bucs receiver Chris Godwin.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

"I think as the season comes down to the wire, obviously we’re all aware that they are more and more important. But especially once you get past your Bye Week, it’s back to the grind. There are no breaks in between – the schedule is what it is and we’ve just got to go to work.

"I think some of the experience we got last year helps. Just kind of understanding what to expect. I think it’s going to be important for us to stay together as a team and keep pulling the rope in the right direction. Just keep going to work. We’ve got a bunch of good and tough opponents coming up here and we’re all just trying to make our push for the playoffs, so this is the most important part of the year.”

Godwin is quietly having a strong season for Tampa Bay. He has 63 catches, only two less than all of last year. He has 782 yards, close to last season's 840 (in 12 games). He's even mixed in a bit of running.

“It’s cool," Godwin said. "It’s a nice little wrinkle. I did a little bit of it in high school, so it’s cool that I’m getting a little bit of an opportunity to do that again. I look at it the same way I look at everything else in terms of my role – whatever the team needs me to do, I feel like I am capable of doing those things. They believe in me, and they put the trust in me to be able to carry the ball and be able to do the things that I’m able to do. I take a lot of pride in that, and I take a lot of pride in blocking and catching the ball. I try to be the best all-around receiver that I can be, and I think I am one of the best in the league.”

That's the thing about the Bucs. The strangest people might end up running the ball. Quarterback Tom Brady, for instance, whose 51 yards scrambling are his most in five years (he's had three 100-yard seasons).

“Every time I see him run the ball, I’m just like, ‘Please, get down,'" Godwin said. "The one guy came and dove at his leg. I’m like he’s definitely going to slide here – nope, he does a little Tom hurdle, or whatever that was. It was dope to see him get that first down and the crowd loved it. That was an electrifying moment. It’s exciting, but I’ve got to make sure my boy gets down. He was gassed up. I think this is the most running he has done in his career. I’d be interested to see what those stats are, but he’s probably got 30 or 40 yards – he’s trying to break a record or something.” 

The 7-3 Bucs will play in Indianapolis Sunday at 1 p.m.

"Defensively, they lead the league with 25 takeaways, and then a plus-15 [turnover margin], that's huge.," Bucs coach Bruce Arians said. "And they have about three or four blocked kicks. So, they're doing a great job in those areas of taking the ball away from teams and setting themselves up. Their running game – that's one of the best offensive lines in football and they've got a great [running] back. So, it's a huge challenge there. And they're not turning it over.

" That's a great recipe for success when you can go on the road and run it for 150 [yards]. It will be loud, and it will be a hell of a challenge."

Previous post:

Next post: