The position of kicker is probably one of the most overlooked positions in the modern day game. Not for Bucs fans, though, and it has been a pain in the side of Tampa Bay for too many years. K Chandler Catanzaro continued the Bucs’ kicking woes with a missed extra point after the Bucs’ initial drive that resulted in a touchdown. One point may not seem like much since the Bucs lost by 5, but it placed them in a bad position as the game wore on.
The philosophy I have for kicking is simple, maybe too simple. It goes like this: Kickers have one job, to kick. So it is imperative that kickers make their kicks. Whether it takes one or 100 practice kicks, the kicker must make his kicks on game day.
Simple, right? It’s not complicated. Put the foot to the football and kick between the tall yellow poles. If you do so consistently and faithfully, you get to keep your job. Unfortunately for the Bucs, their kickers have not gotten that memo.
Catanzaro’s missed PAT put the Bucs down 21-6 early. In the 4th quarter Winston found Godwin for a touchdown, bringing them within 2 points of the Falcons (22-24) and forcing them to go for a 2-point conversion to tie it up. Ultimately the attempt failed.
Did you catch that? If Catanzaro had made his PAT, the Bucs would have never needed to go for two later on. It would have been business as usual, and the Bucs would have been tied 24 all, changing the complexion of the game. Making kicks for the Bucs is not business as usual, though, and that’s a problem. It’s a problem the coaching staff has not been able to figure out. Even though Tampa Bay had plenty of opportunities to win, Catanzaro made the key play that put the team in the bad predicament they found themselves in.
Don’t be surprised to see kicking tryouts this week.