Mike Evans has Jerry Rice in the crosshairs. The Buccaneers wide receiver already owns the NFL record for most consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to begin a career with nine, but now he's got even more history on the brain as he enters Year 10. Evans is only two 1,000-yard seasons away from matching Rice's record streak of 11.
"I think about it. It's right there, so I'm gonna definitely try to go get that," Evans told KPRC 2 Houston Tuesday. "I'm already one of one right now. I hope I can pass the great Jerry Rice and his record. Obviously, nobody will pass his records probably, like ever, total. But that 1,000-yard streak record would be cool to have."
Evans has been a prolific receiver from Day 1 with the Buccaneers after the club drafted him with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M. As a rookie, he put up 1,051 yards and hasn't looked back since. Meanwhile, Rice came up just 73 yards short of a 1,000-yard campaign during his rookie season, but then rattled off the record 11 straight from 1986-1996. Rice also holds the NFL record for most 1,000-yard seasons of all time with a total of 14.
Already, Evans is in a five-way tie for the third most 1,000-yard seasons of all time, knotting himself up with fellow legends like Larry Fitzgerald, Terrell Owens, Jimmy Smith and Tim Brown. If he were to reach this milestone again in 2023, he'd move into a tie with Hall of Famer Randy Moss for the second-most all time.
Because of this start to his career, reaching the 1,000-yard mark isn't even something that Evans raises his eyebrows at anymore. It's simply the bar that he's set for himself.
"I should get 1,000 yards if I'm healthy. Every year," Evans said. "It ain't that. I want to be one of the tops in the league. I want to be winning games. That's what I care about."
Of course, it will be interesting to see if the streak can continue in 2023 following the retirement of Tom Brady. While Evans has wracked up 1,000-yard seasons without Brady in the past, going from the seven-time Super Bowl champion to either Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask -- who are set to duke it out for the starting job this summer -- will be an adjustment.
"Kyle's improved a lot," Evans said. "I'm really impressed with what I've seen from Baker. Whoever the quarterback will be, I'm positive they're going to make the right choice and we're going to win some games."
Evans already ranks 10th on the NFL's all-time receiving yard list with 10,425. If he gets another 1,000 yards in 2023, that would put him in a position to leapfrog several all-time greats -- like Fitzgerald, Owens, Julio Jones, Marvin Harrison and others -- and slot himself behind only Moss and Rice, which would be historic in its own right.