Despite Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown stepping up in a comeback win over Dallas, head coach Bruce Arians had to find something to critique him about.
“Too bad he can’t dress very good,” Arians jokingly said of Brown.
Brown, who had a knee procedure in the offseason, had so much wrap on his knees that he had to make a fashion statement with it. He wore a dark blue polka-dot t suit coat with matching shorts along with black dress boots as he entered postgame press conference. ESPN’s Jenna Laine shared photos of it on Twitter.
“There’s a price these guys pay every time they take the field and punish their bodies the way they do,” Laine wrote.
Arians otherwise liked Brown’s performance of five catches for 121 yards and a touchdown in a 31-29 victory over the Cowboys. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady targeted Brown seven times in the game.
“Typical A.B.,” Arians said. “When he’s going to play that many snaps, he’s going to show up, and he’s going to make plays.”
Brown’s 47-yard touchdown in the second quarter gave the Bucs a 21-16 lead, which helped the team stay in front until the final minutes of the game. He also played a major role in the first scoring drive of the game with a couple of catches, including a 28-yard deep shot from Brady.
Brown deflected credit afterward, saying “it’s about the team” according to Buccaneers.com’s Carmen Vitali.
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Brown Trending Up
Brown led all receivers in yards for the night. It continued his trending upward in regular season performances. He posted 259 yards in his last two regular season games, going back to last season according to NBC Sports Edge.
Brady had room to throw to Brown often as the former Pro Bowler averaged a 6.2-yard cushion from defensive backs on pass plays according to Next Gen Stats. Brown also gained an average of 6.8 yards after the catch per Next Gen Stats.
Pro Football Focus’ Austin Gayle highlighted Brown’s ability to gain separation and called it “effortless” on the touchdown play.
Should Brown Higher Than Third?
Pro Football Focus reporter Doug Kyed posed a question on where Brown should stay on the depth chart after such a performance. The Bucs have the four-time All-Pro listed as the team’s third receiver behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
“Tom Brady loves Antonio Brown,” Kyed wrote. “How long will he be OK with Brown being the Buccaneers’ No. 3 wide receiver?”
Godwin also posted a 100-yard game against the Cowboys with nine catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. He needed 14 targets to reach that total, and he fumbled near the end zone on a potential touchdown play in the fourth quarter.
While that nearly cost the Bucs the game, Godwin’s night didn’t end. Brady found him for a 24-yard connection that set up a game-winning field goal by kicker Ryan Succop.
Mike Evans, who led the Bucs in receiving last season, finished with three catches for 24 yards against the Cowboys. He only caught 50% of his targets, too.