Bucs kicker Nick Folk Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Kyle Brinza, Roberto Aguayo, and now Nick Folk. Names Bucs fans are ready to forget.
The kicking curse in Tampa continued as the Buccaneers fell to the New England Patriots 19-14 on Thursday night in front of a national television audience.
Folk was 0-for- 3 and just 2-of-7 in the past two games. Within the short week, Folk has missed six kicks in just five days. Thursday night’s game included misses from 31, 49, and 56.
Complimentary football, which is preached throughout the halls of Once Buc Place, but that wasn’t what was seen on Thursday night.
The abysmal performance by Folk was a big factor in the Bucs being 2-2 instead of 3-1.
Folk came to Tampa this year after posting a season where he made 87 percent of his tries. He wasn’t perfect throughout training camp and the preseason, but it was enough to beat out second round pick Roberto Aguayo. That said, most kickers would likely have beaten out Roberto Aguayo. And just like his predecessor it seems like Folk’s time in Tampa may be short lived. If the jeers he received from Tampa’s fans are any indication, they’re hoping he gets the boot.
Bucs K Nick Folk – Photo by: Getty Images
Despite the poor performance, Folk’s teammates don’t seem ready to put him out to pasture just yet. Defensive tackle Clinton McDonald’s message to folk was a supportive one.
“You criticize lightly and encourage loudly,” McDonald said following the loss. ‘To Nick Folk, we’re behind you, we’re your teammates, and we love you. No matter what’s going on we love you. You’re our teammate, you’re our kicker, and we stand behind you.
Quarterback Jameis Winston, who praised Folk last week for kicking the game winner in another up and down performance, is confident his kicker will get back on track.
“Bounce back,” Winston said. “Bounce back. It’s not his fault. It’s not his fault. We were in a position to win the game – :02 seconds on the clock. Somebody needs to make a play.”
It’s true, the offense was in the position to win the game. However, this loss falls squarely on Folk’s shoulders. The 11-year veteran will tell you that himself.
“I had a bad week, starting last Sunday to today,” Folk said while standing in front on his locker following the loss. “I left points out there. We should have won this game 20-19. This one’s on me.”
Head coach Dirk Koetter, who has already had to cut one kicker this year, spoke on Folk’s future following the primetime loss to the defending champs.
“Jason [Licht] and I had a brief conversation afterward and that will be something that is forthcoming,” Koetter said. “You don’t want to make any rash decisions.”
It is likely that there will be a decision on Folk’s future by this weekend. In the past Jason Licht has shown confidence in his place kicker, but it’s probably a safe bet that any conversation he had with Koetter about Folk on Thursday night was not a positive one.
– Story by Austin DeWitt
– Mark Cook contributed to this story
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya’ll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
It is not just the 9 points, each time the players have to overcome the momentum loss caused by the missed kick. Let us state the facts: Nick Folk lost us the game and nearly lost the one the week before. Do not sugar coat it, otherwise we never face reality and make adjustments as needed.
Rash, rash! He has been BAD in games, bad. Not a 1 game knee jerk on a bad day, he’s been Aguayo BAD, and the BUCS didn’t spend a 2nd round pick on him.
Folk, welcome to the regular workforce like the rest of us!!
Horrible, just horrible, and amazing that the BUCS can’t even get an AVERAGE kicker. Average wins last night.
It’s clear that Folk’s performance is not acceptable, period. It’s clear that his missed field goals were greater than the margin of loss. The Bucs have to improve our kicking game. If we can try out another kicker this week and then let Folk go, so be it.
But we can’t just simply blame the loss on our kicker. Don’t forget that it was the pathetically inconsistent performance of our offense that forced field goal tries (or a failed final play of the game) on three trips to the red zone or the opponent’s side of field. If just one of those three scoreless drives had ended in a TD, nobody would care about the kicker.
We’ve got to get much better at sustaining drives and scoring TDs in the end zone. No kicker can save every game that our offense is blowing.
If we keep Nick Folk, we’re not smart people! Pun intended and so is the message.
Agreed!!! Fire that loser NOW. Then invite all available kickers to a competition under Game type conditions and hire the best one.
If Howard had stopped and turned and caught the ball and then muscled it into the end zone over the light CBs he could have shown himself worth the first round pick. And stop those stupid and hurtful penalties.
Got good running from our muscle hamster but his pass receiving was gosh awful.
Jameis, get accurate and stop overthrowing deep passes!
his onsides kick was terrible as well
The Cards lost their kicker to injury, picked up a rookie from another teams P.S., and he makes the game winner on the Monday night football stage. Replacing Folk shouldn’t be to hard. I’m sure we can find someone who’s better then 65 percent.
Jameis and Koetter are as culpable as Folk for this loss in my eyes. Maybe if Jameis had been more accurate or we kept handing the ball to Martin, we wouldn’t even be talking about Folk this morning. Folk definitely needs to go, but someone else also needs to be making the play calls and in game personnel decisions besides Koetter. As for Jameis, it’s the same issues he’s had since college and they’re not getting much better despite having one of the most talented WR/TE corps in the league.
The game was lost because 2 kick attempts they lost 6 points. I mean besides that incomplete passes.
He’s got to go. I have no confidence in him for the rest of the season.
1st and goal inside the 10. We don’t run Martin on three downs…? I don’t get it. The hands to the face on Winston’s scramble wouldn’t have happened if we’re pushing the line to run block. Horrible play calling IMO.
Fire this guy right now. Hell, grab Roberto off the street. Maybe somebody from Armwood High. Don’t care who, show this guy the door.
I STILL BELIEVE
They did not run the ball enough!!! Doug was hot with fresh legs. Feed him . Feed him !!! 5 .8 yards a carry. Feed him. Run the fin ball. Kotter this is on you. What game were you watching???? The way Doug was running he would have broke a big one if ya just kept feeding him. I remember the Jag game from a few years back. They ran the ball from their 20 to a TD without a pass.. Kotter wake up.
Agree with the need for a place kicker, and that the HC needs to run the damned ball
I agree with others, Folk should be replaceable but while the odds are much better, you don’t get rid of someone unless you’re pretty darned sure you have a better replacement.
We’ve failed to learn that lesson repeatedly starting with Gruden which plunged us into the Raheem Schiano Lovie era before Koetter arrived (a word of warning it you’re already tempted to pick up a pitchfork). But hopefully such a kicker is out there sitting on his sofa somewhere…
On that subject, the Bucs aren’t cursed, we just have a long long history of poor personnel decisions. We had Matt Bryant and still could have if not for being short sighted.. We had Barth, not as good but good enough, and might still if he hadn’t hurt his ankle. Heck, we had Steve Young… 😃
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