When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally cut ties with Roberto Aguayo, the former FSU Seminole kicker whose mighty mortar kicks didn’t translate to the big league, the team figured that its kicking problems were behind them.
Enter Nick Folk.
The veteran kicker was to have been the steady foot that the team has lacked since they dumped both Matt Bryant and Connor Barth – both of whom are still kicking in the NFL.
The erratic Aguayo was dumped as the organization admitted that it blew up by trading up to draft him in the second round of the 2016 draft.
But Folk soon proved that he wasn’t the answer and after a horrific dumpster fire of a game on a nationally televised Thursday night matchup with the struggling New England Patriots, has likely played his last game for the Bucs.
It was an ugly game in which even a mediocre performance from the team dressed in red-devil uniforms for the NFL’s Color Burst promotion could have delivered another blow to the reeling Patriots dynasty.
But Folk’s three missed field goals and nine points were more than the difference in a 19-14 Patriots win.
Not that he was the ONLY problem. Third-year Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston continues to regress with yet another erratic game in which he consistently missed open receivers. Winston did throw for 334 yards but as is his trademark, most of the yardage came late in the game. If anything, he is the reigning king of garbage time.
So, the Patriots live to fight another day by escaping what would have been their third loss this young season through sheer luck and a miserable night by Nick Folk. Hey, a win is a win and there are no style points for winning ugly.
The Bucs will now have 10 days off to figure it out. Winston’s inaccuracy can be mitigated by sticking to the running game now that Doug Martin is back from his drug suspension.
As for Folk, stick a fork in his ass, he’s done. There is no way that the Bucs can keep this guy after Thursday, especially after they got rid of hometown favorite Aguayo.
There are probably already reservations being booked for out-of-work kickers to make the trip south to Tampa because, with an offense led by Winston, it is imperative that a reliable kicker is ready to answer the call.
Nick Folk NFL highlights pic.twitter.com/xrUwDEFY37
— Happy Bill Belichick (@SportsTalkKyle) October 6, 2017