To beat the Chiefs, the Buccaneers will need to get the ball to receiver Mike Evans. But they’ll also need to not try so hard to do it.
Appearing on the Buccaneers Radio Network, via JoeBucsFan.com, Arians cautioned against forcing the ball to Evans.
“We threw a couple of interceptions [against Green Bay] trying to get [Mike Evans] the ball,” Arians said. “And I think sometimes we know Mike is such a weapon we say, ‘Let’s force it to him.’ And I get in that habit myself. Just let it play out. You know, let Chris [Godwin] and Scotty [Miller] and everybody else do their job. We had a big, big screen pass to Gronk in the fourth quarter, but yeah, sometimes we can force it to Mike.”
The first interception on a ball to Evans wasn’t forced; it was simply a bad throw (yes, media, we’re allowed to say it) by quarterback Tom Brady. Evans was open. If Brady had aimed a bit lower, Evans would have had a much better chance to catch it. Instead, the ball glanced off Evans’ hands and caromed to Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander.
The second interception on a ball to Evans wasn’t forced to Evans, per se. Brady — facing a safety blitz — wanted to unload the ball before taking a hit. Evans just happened to be the guy closest to where the ball landed. Alexander got to the ball mainly because the ball got to him.
But Arians is right about the weapons that the Buccaneers enjoy. Between Evans and Godwin and Antonio Brown and Gronk and Cameron Brate and Tyler Johnson, Brady never should have to force the ball to anyone.