The Buccaneers’ kicking game has been disastrous. No matter whom the Bucs gave a chance, no one was able to really establish themselves as a solid NFL kicker.
Even Jason Licht’s aggressive attempt to turn things around by spending a second-round pick on Roberto Aguayo in 2016 failed miserably. It almost seems like Tampa Bay is somewhat doomed at the position.
This year, however, there is plenty of optimism for Buccaneers fans. Licht spent a fifth-round pick on Matt Gay, a kicker out of Utah. Gay is expected to be the starting kicker as soon as the regular season starts. Rightfully so, as he has made quite an impression in his first two preseason games.
In Week 1, Gay was given his first chance to prove himself. He booted a 55-yard field goal at Heinz Field. Not too shabby for a rookie who played his first NFL game.
To prove that his great performance in Pittsburgh was not a fluke, Gay delivered in week 2 against the Dolphins as well. He was given two opportunities to score and did not disappoint. His kicks were good from 32 yards and from 48 yards. What is even more impressive is the fact that his second score came in the final seconds of the game with the Bucs trailing by one point. It does not get much more clutch than that. Moreover, the field was wet.
All in all, Gay played a highly impressive first two games as a Buc. Of course, it is only the preseason and things could easily look very different in two weeks. Yet, after the poor experiences, the Bucs have made in the last 15 years, Gay seems to be a great pickup as of now.
Hopefully, the Buccaneers have finally found the answer to their kicking game. They have been searching for it much too long.