Nick Folk missed three field goals Thursday night, kicks would have tipped the score in favor of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. That ugly performance came on the heels of missing two field goals and an extra point last week. So you’d assume that Folk didn’t even need to visit the locker room, that he could have jogged right out of Raymond James Stadium and into the Tampa Night in full uniform, never to return.
Not so, says head coach Dirk Koetter, or at least … not yet.
After Thursday night’s debacle, Koetter noted that Folk’s kicking was a point of discussion. “[General manager] Jason Licht and I had a brief conversation afterwards,” he said in a postgame press conference. “That will be something that will be forthcoming. But you don’t want to make any rash decisions.”
Tampa Bay’s kicking woes are one of the more inexplicable trends in recent NFL history. The team made a stunning move at last year’s draft, snagging Florida State University product Roberto Aguayo with a second-round pick. But Aguayo was erratic and often terrible, going only 31 of 43 last year before being cut in favor of Folk this season.
Folk has now missed five field goals in three games this season, after missing only four all of last year and three in 2015. You can blame the snap, the hold, the field, the o-line, whatever, but in the end, the black-and-white numbers don’t lie.
“I left points out there. We should have won the game. 20-19. This one’s on me,” Folk said, according to ESPN. “Bad week, starting from last Sunday to today. Bad week. I’ve just gotta keep my head down, keep working and try to get better.”
We’ll see if he gets that chance in a Tampa Bay uniform.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.