In a season where Buffalo's offense is trying to re-invent itself, it's relying on a top wideout to deliver the big play. Through 11 games Lee Evans more often than not has come through.
The Bills top receiver, despite constant extra attention from opposing defenses, is on pace for the second most productive season in his career. Evans is on track for close to 1,200 receiving yards by season's end (1,177) and 61 catches if his play continues over the final five games of the regular season.
Buffalo's deep threat ranks high in several receiving categories thus far this season. Evans is currently tops in the AFC in yards per catch with a 19.3 yard average. His 10 receptions of 25 yards or more this season is also best in the AFC.
"He's our best offensive playmaker," said Bills quarterback Trent Edwards. "We need to get him the ball to get our offense to go."
Evans also ranks fifth in the AFC in receiving yards per game (73.6) and fifth in receiving yardage (810).
Through 11 games he has already eclipsed one personal best with his fourth 100-yard receiving game this season following his most recent outing against Kansas City (5 rec. 110 yards). Evans' previous high was three 100-yard games in a single season.
Despite Evans' penchant for making the big play, he has been effective in sustaining offensive drives working underneath as well. Thus far this season Evans is one of just four receivers in the league to have 81 percent or more of his catches result in first downs. A total of 34 of his 42 receptions this year have moved the chains for Buffalo.
"We are always going to try to get him the football," said Bills offensive coordinator Turk Schonert. "He is our money guy."
Evans has almost 500 more yards than the next closest teammate in receiving yardage this season and is tied for the team lead in receptions.
If the Bills (6-5) can make a strong run for the postseason down the stretch the odds are good Evans will have a major hand in it. And that will only make Evans' case for his first AFC Pro Bowl nod all the more compelling.