Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown celebrated his team’s playoff-clinching victory on Saturday with a few Instagram posts, including one that gained quick popularity.
NESN’s Adam London first reported Brown’s post, which accrued 174,244 likes and 1,272 comments. The post features a one-word message below a picture of quarterback Tom Brady and Brown celebrating a 12-yard touchdown connection during a 47-7 rout of the Detroit Lions.
Brown caught his second touchdown of the season from Brady during the first half when Brady threaded the needle through Detroit’s defense to find Brown in the back of the end zone. The Bucs’ official Twitter called the throw an “absolute dart” and USA Today’s Bucs Wire called it “a rocket.”
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) December 26, 2020
Brown finished with four catches for 35 yards and the touchdown. He made 34 catches for 345 yards and two touchdowns in his first seven games as a Buc since signing with the team in October.
The week before the Lions game, Brown shared his gratitude for Brady, head coach Bruce Arians, and the team after hauling in his first touchdown as a Buc in a comeback win at Atlanta. Brown described the process of going from a slew of off-field trouble keeping him away from the game to his comeback as “a long journey” per Sports Illustrated’s All Bucs.
Brown, who formerly caught passes from Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, will make his first playoff appearance since 2017.
Brown’s off-field issues haven’t disappeared entirely, however.
Police released a video of his destruction at his Hollywood luxury home community in Miami, which the Miami Herald reported on Tuesday. The incident occurred before Brown joined the Bucs, and the team confirmed it knew of the incident before signing him according to Sporting News’ Billy Haven. The NFL opened an investigation of the incident, Haven wrote, but no further action followed thus far.
Brown also has a sexual assault civil lawsuit open, which won’t go to trial until late 2021. The veteran receiver will become a free agent in March 2021, which the civil lawsuit status could impact. The NFL previously suspended Brown for eight games to start this season due to the allegations.
Cowherd Ranks Bucs High
Tampa improved its Power Rankings overall with its blowout of Detroit.
Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports, via Twitter, ranks the Bucs (10-5) at sixth and surprisingly places the Buffalo Bills (12-3) at the top, ahead of the Green Bay Packers (12-3) and the Kansas City Chiefs (14-1).
📺@ColinCowherd's Top 10 Teams After Week 16:
10. Browns (10-5)
9. Bears (8-7)
8. Dolphins (10-5)
7. Ravens (10-5)
6. Bucs (10-5)
5. Seahawks (11-4)
4. Saints (11-4)
3. Chiefs (14-1)
2. Packers (12-3)
1. Bills (12-3)
— FOX Sports Radio (@FoxSportsRadio) December 29, 2020
Evans can join some rare air among NFL receivers all-time if he hits the 1,000-yard mark for the season against the Falcons.
He could pass Hall-of-Fame receiver Randy Moss as the only receiver to start his career with a seven-straight 1,000-yard season. Bucs coach Bruce Arians wants to make it happen according to Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times.
“I desperately want that to happen,” Arians said according to Knight. “Whatever he needs — 50 (yards) or whatever he has left — I’m sure Atlanta’s not going to want to give it to him, so we’ll have to find some creative ways to get it for him.”