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Cover 3 is a weekly feature column written by PewterReport.com’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat writer Trevor Sikkema published every Tuesday. The column, as its name suggests, comes in three phases: a statistical observation, an in-depth film breakdown, and a “this or that” segment where the writer asks the reader to chose between two options.

Sikkema’s Stat of the Week

I wanted him to make that kick. I really did. I know we’re not suppose to root for things here and there as journalists, but for Chandler Catanzaro, I wanted him to make it.

And he did – good for him.

Why did I want him to make it? Because it has to suck reading tweets like the ones I sent out during the game after Catanzaro missed the PAT and after he missed the game-winner at the end of the fourth quarter. Catanzaro feels worse than anyone does when he lets his team down, and the way he got emotional after the game in the locker room was proof of that.

I wanted him to make it because stories of redemption and ones that give a happy ending are forever better to tell than ones of sorrow and disappointment. When that kick went in, I was happy for him. I’m sure it was a moment he’ll never forget, and I’m glad he got to experience it.

But did that kick, as exciting as it was, wipe away his sins of this season?

K Chandler Catanzaro – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

In 2018, Tampa Bay has made just eight field goals. That’s tied for 25th in the NFL. Now, they’ve only attempted 10, but that percentage of 80 is still tied for just 21st. Tampa Bay is 1-1 from beyond 50 yards with Catanzaro, the reason why he was brought in, but with extra points, the Bucs have missed three, and only one other team in the league has missed more, the Chargers with four.

There are 17 teams in the NFL that have yet to miss an extra point. If you throw Justin Tucker in there with the Ravens, who missed an extra point for the first time in his career on Sunday, that makes it 18. There are 25 total teams who have an extra point percentage of above 90 percent.

The Bucs aren’t one of them.

The Bucs also have the worst field goal percentage in the league of kicks between 40-49 yards — the sign of a good kicker. They are 0-2 in that category at zero percent, tied with two other teams, the Rams and the Titans.

So it seems like Catanzaro is having a sub-par year all around. But is this to be expected, or does his career show that’s not in his nature, and that he is worth keeping due to a bounce back on the way?

Here’s an analytical look at Catanzaro throughout his career (big s/o to Moo on Twitter for this).

The blue line is the expected probability of kickers in the NFL to make a field goal from a certain distance. Obviously, the longer the distance, the steeper the drop. The red dots are where Catanzaro’s career percentages fit on that line (above or below) at each yard variation.

For the most part, Catanzaro is above average at kicks shorter than 40 yards, which is good, and he’s also way above average on kicks attempted beyond 55 yards, which is crazy. But he’s struggled in the intermediate — where the kicking money is made.

Bucs K Chandler Catanzaro - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

Bucs K Chandler Catanzaro – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

Catanzaro’s first two years in the league have been his best so far. With the Cardinals, in 2015 and 2016, he was 21-for-23 from between 30-39, and was 16-for-18 from between 40-49. Unfortunately the year after, he missed one from between 20-29, one from between 30-39, two from 40-49 and three from 50-plus.

That caused the Cardinals to move on, and with the Jets the next season Catanzaro was okay, but missed five from between 40-49 yards.

The range of 40-49 yards is the money distance. If you don’t have consistency there, teams will always look to replace you.

Catanzaro’s hot start has evened out now, which means his stats make him an average kicker in the league. That’s not as damning as it sounds, as average means he makes most of the kicks he’s suppose to. But he’s having a below average year for average standards, and that’s where the problem lies.

Catanzaro isn’t losing his job this week. That last kick saved him. But it shouldn’t save the team from bringing guys in for tryouts over the next two weeks.

Remember that Nick Folk struggled against the Giants last year, but made the game-winner at the end, only to miss more kicks against the Patriots the next week and finally get cut.

Missing from 50-plus is one thing. Missing from 40-49 yards is another. And missing three extra points in six weeks is down right unacceptable – missing an extra point changes the entire dynamic of a game, especially when missed early, and those misses cost the Bucs one game and should have cost them another.

Catanzaro is still their guy, for now, and I mean it when I say I hope he’s enjoying his walk off. That’s a cool feeling that doesn’t happen often in this game.

But I also hope it helps him focus and be better than he’s been so far this year.

Because so far what he’s been is not good enough.

The money he’s making isn’t translating to the money kicks.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: trevor@pewterreport.com
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Jolly Bucs Fan
2 years ago

IF he missing anything under 50 yards in the next game. Cut him.

Buc-in-Philly Fan
2 years ago

I did not have faith in that final kick. Even as it went in I remember thinking how uninspired I was for a win. Had he made the original one at the end of the fourth quarter i think I would have a better feeling but right now, all I feel is:

APATHY……ugh

EricNV
Reply to  Buc-n-Philly Fan
2 years ago

If you saw the way that 59 yard kick went in, you can see the way his kicks start slicing outside before coming back to center, and that 59 yarder would have been no good at 40-45 yards distance. He ought to be adjusting his angle at those distances to make up for that spin effect

cbbucfan
2 years ago

I certainly was not expecting Catanzaro to make that 58-yard field goal attempt. He hadn’t done anything prior to that kick to inspire confidence in me. But kudos to him for nailing it. However, three missed PATs, including two in the last two games? Just can’t have it. Bring in a couple of other legs and give them a look. I thought the defense did play better and more aggressive on Sunday. Not great, but better. Hopefully this is a trend and not an aberration. They will be facing a more potent offense in Cincinnati this Sunday. The injury-depleted linebacking… Read more »

Charlie
Reply to  cbbucfan
2 years ago

I actually think it was because the Browns went hurry up for the 4th down play cbbucfan. But I think you’re right. He’s made for those situations quite frankly lol.

tpeluso
Reply to  cbbucfan
2 years ago

IIRC Cleveland played hurry-up and there was no time to sub any players in or out.

cbbucfan
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
2 years ago

Even if Cleveland goes hurry-up there to run a play on 4th and goal inside the 1-yard line, call a timeout!! Get Vea on the field for that play!! I would rather use the timeout and get him on the field to help prevent a touchdown than hold onto the timeout and increase the risk of surrendering the touchdown (thankfully the defense did prevent the touchdown on that play). The odds of the opponent calling a run play (including a QB sneak) are high in that situation, especially if they are going to hurry-up to run the play and not… Read more »

Charlie
2 years ago

Buc n Philly, lol you hit it right on the nose for me too! I actually still felt disgust at this game for even having getting close to this result. Yeah we need a better kicker, sure. But we need a better QB and I was listening to the podcast and I agree with Trevor whole heartedly…you don’t put up with this garbage from Jameis Winston. He does the same thing that these fool’s gold QBs like Philip Rivers and Tony Romo, Kirk Cousins of the world, can get stat lines but not substantial wins. Chandler kinda stinks but Jameis… Read more »

RayJayinTBay
2 years ago

Two Points. Keep Catanzaro on a week by week basis and give him the benefit of the doubt. Definitely an uninspiring win. As for Jameis, I am saying this for the first time, but he is not the answer for this team. He has had the benefit of 4 years and is still making the same mistakes at the wrong time.

Crack3rK
2 years ago

Trevor said: “his stat-line and game tape sure didn’t show a player who didn’t have a little extra motivation in him for that one.”

Dude, this double negative stuff is like wha-da??? But on a positive note, Your analysis didn’t show a writer who didn’t know what he was talking about.

BadgerW4
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
2 years ago

JMO, Trevor, but that’s not a bad habit. It makes your writing much more accessible, more relatable. For those of us who’ve been lucky enough to get to interact with you (for me, it’s been through the youtube draft parties), it makes it very easy to just hear your voice saying whatever it is you’re writing.

e
e
2 years ago

So, let me get this straight… You’re not suppose to root for the Bucs. Ha! I would like to see a video of you, Scott and Mark when the Bucs make a play and you all just look at each other stoically and nod.

buddah
2 years ago

A win is a win. Some are ugly; a few are pretty. Winston had a decent first half; very poor the rest of the game. Personally, I think the constant pressure on him by the bRown’s defensive line took its toll. I was not a Winston guy from the beginning, but I’m not ready to give up on him. Some thoroughbreds don’t develop until they are five year olds. He has to play better than this but the management has to consider the options AND THEY WILL. Let’s hoe he learns from this. The kicker–is quite another story. I’m glad… Read more »

mwestdominguez
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
2 years ago

Different subject from the article but I just read we signed Kevin Minter (LB)…..What are the chances we go after Patrick Peterson, especially after our NFC South foes the Saints just signed Eli Apple from the Giants?

surferdudes
2 years ago

I was less nervous when he attempted the 58 yarder then I was when he attempted his first extra point. Being as he’s missed some extra points, as have other Buc kickers, and missing from 40 I said to my wife, watch, I bet he makes this one. Pressure is a funny thing. Miss a lay up, but no one expects you to drill it from half court. I can hit drive after drive on the range, but when eveyones watching on the first tee, another story. I was more mad about Koetter playing it safe with the 40 yard… Read more »

DT25
2 years ago

I just don’t trust anyone else available right now over Catanzaro. I get it’s frustrating, but his main issue has been XPs…which I think he can sort out. Otherwise, he’s been a solid kicker this season. He’s now only missed 2 FG attempts. Really, in the end, it comes down to asking who else is available right now? You trusting some no name guy off the street to be consistent when we’ve been looking for consistency for years? It would be one thing if a guy like Dan Bailey was still available, but what proven kickers are currently out there?… Read more »

drdneast
2 years ago

Well if you felt so bad about your silly little tweet, why did u put it out there in the first place.
Personally I’m tired of people putting out mean hayrfil things and then saying ” oh gee, I’m sorry.” Like that teases their boorish behavior and makes everything better like it didn’t happen at all.
Of course your glorious leader in the White House serves as a perfect example of this moronic behavior of spreading lies rumors and hate but he is different in the fact he never apologizes.

Charlie
2 years ago

So when would enough be enough for you Buddah? Cause as Trevor pointed out, he’s been like this since college too. Hasn’t changed. So I mean 6 years doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. I think Fitzmagik should be given another chance. At least his INTs weren’t stupid lame throws. And he can hit DeSean Jackson 40-50 yds downfield unlike Jameis Winston too. So why are we putting up with this crap?

Buc stops here
2 years ago

I think the Bucs have to keep him for now and monitor his week to week performance. I took a look around the NFL and I list below the names available. Problem is, only one on the list who is like Chandler Catanzaro as he makes a lot of his field goals, but his longest was 39 yards before being cut this year because he lacks a strong leg (Santos, Cairo). At 8 of 10, Catanzaro is a decent field goal kicker making most of his kicks but having issues as stated between 40 and 49 yards, but the extra… Read more »

BadgerW4
Reply to  Buc stops here
2 years ago

Why not Patrick Murray? 98% on XPs as a Buc, and 17 of 18 from under 50 yards. He may not be great at kickoffs, but he hits the FGs and XPs which you simply can’t miss.

fredster
2 years ago

I have no faith in Catanzaro. One other teams has more than 3 missed extra points? Unacceptable. Also unacceptable to miss so many “easy” fg’s 40-49 as stated. Try guys out and be ready to dump him if he continues to miss extra points and fg’s that he should make. This crap with missing extra points started in ore season too not like it just popped up so I don’t see him fixing it. We were lucky to win against Browns leaving 4 points off board then he got lucky and hit 59. If that was shorter it wouldn’t have… Read more »

nybuccguy
2 years ago

Cut Catanzaro, hes trash. The missed extra points are completely unacceptable. There are better kickers on the street. The guy Atlants rolled out last night is a good example. We are fools giving Catanzaro more chances to lose games for us.

fredster
2 years ago

Sorry meant Pre season

1bucfanjeff
2 years ago

If you look at Catanzaro’s kicks, make or miss, there is inconsistency with each. Subtle, but it’s there. He’s a good kicker in a funk. That said, his job is to make kicks. We should cut him and move on, but in the same breath I’m also ok with giving him one more game. Have Cairo Santos on speed dial if he’s not signed elsewhere already (he has a tryout today for another team).

Horse
2 years ago

I would prefer to evaluate after Game 8. To soon to even discuss cutting him.
I wonder if Fitzpatrick has changed something or LG Snapper since he is new here too.

Horse
2 years ago

Good Article Scott. Did you notice somewhere in the 2nd half where JPP had the QB in his grasp, but couldn’t hold his grip on the QB because of loss of thumb and finger? I’m sure it sucked for him as it would have been another sack instead they ended up getting a first down.

Horse
2 years ago

Oops I’m sorry Trevor; I said Scott instead of Trevor.

Horse
2 years ago

I’m sorry Trevor; of course you aren’t Scott.

Alldaway 2.0
2 years ago

Keep Catanzaro and see if he develops. Only way to stop the carousel is to have an extended audition.

Bucs defense looks better because they are allowed to fly to the ball. Defensive line will benefit from exotic looks. And disguised blitzes from LBs will also help.

EastEndBoy
2 years ago

Who would we bring in instead? Roberto Aguayo….yeeeeeeeeh

Calling for guys to get cut at this point in the year is as useless as a law degree in the Whitehouse.

EastEndBoy
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
2 years ago

Indeed – I guess that’s just one more nail in the Licht coffin then.

German Buc
2 years ago

Kicking from the right hash is a bad idea for #7. 40 yarded at end of regulation would have been good from left hash or from center. Instead the ball was placed (!!!) on the right hash.
IMHO we should also talk about the holder and the ST coordinator obviously unable to see the problem – or at least to solve it.

rastaman40
2 years ago

Trevor why in the hell is caleb bennoch aka “own qb killa” still starting? Is there really no other back up center so evan can start and its hard to imagine Cappa being worse at pass blocking…

scubog
2 years ago

I say bring back OG George Yarno who took over when “Capese was caput”.

Bringing in any kicker who is available would be no guarantee that the situation would improve. Likely just more of the same. Licht had the right idea with the drafting of the supposed best kicker in college history (albeit a bit too soon), but that failed miserably.

Work on some two point conversions and 4th down plays. Can’t hurt.

plopes808
2 years ago

Nice article as usual Trev, Would it be totally out of the question to voluntarily kick our XPs from 50+ from now on? I’ve seen a few on here already mention the flight path of Catanzaro’s kicks and I agree. Somehow the guy is better from further away. As far as the FA market, it’s slim pickins so we’re better off keeping him on. I just don’t understand how one team can have SO MANY kicking issues smdh. As for the defense, we were playing the Browns so I’m trying to keep my optimism in check until I see more.… Read more »

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