After making a 55-yard field goal on his first kick in the preseason and nailing two game-winners in the preseason, the Bucs thought they finally found a kicker in rookie Matt Gay, the team’s fifth-round pick, that could end Tampa Bay’s kicking woes that have plagued the men in red and pewter for a decade.

After starting the season 3-of-4 on field goals and 4-of-4 on extra points through the first two weeks of the season, Gay missed his first two extra points against the New York Giants before making the next two extra points and four straight field goals. Then came a monumental miss – a 34-yarder that missed just right as time expired, causing the Bucs to lose 32-31 at Raymond James Stadium.

Could Gay bounce back from a miss that made him a pariah among the Bucs’ fan base over the past week?

Straight out of a Hollywood movie, Gay went from zero to hero on Sunday for Tampa Bay, nailing all seven extra points and two field goals, including a career-long 58-yarder in the Bucs’ 55-40 upset over the previously unbeaten Rams in Los Angeles.

“It’s huge – it shows the confidence we have in the guy,” Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said about Gay in his post-game press conference. “He knows we have confidence in him. He’s not going anywhere. This kid is talented. One kick does not define you.”

Gay and Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein made NFL history as they became the first kickers to kick a 58-yarder in the same NFL game on Sunday.

Gay entered the Rams game connecting on 77.8 percent of his kicks and 71.4 percent of his extra points. After his perfect Week 4 performance, Gay is now hitting 81.8 percent of his field goals (9-of-11) and 85.7 percent of his extra points (12-of-14).

Scott Reynolds is in his 24th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

10 COMMENTS

  1. I was asking why the hell would they go for a 58 yard field goal only to say what a great call it was! Lol. Way to pull through rookie!

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  2. kids is a mule, big guy too..he’s the answer guys.. it w as those ugly green shoes.lol

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  3. So is everyone done berating BA for his “he’s better from far” statement yet?

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  4. Got to take the Good with the Bad. Matt Gay is a talented rookie kicker that is still working on his craft, that 58 yarder today was a “Nail” that forced McVay and the Rams to play 60 whole minutes. It really changed the momentum. Good job Matt!!!

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  5. Rookies are going to have up/down play. Can’t give up on the rookies so quickly. Look at the progress that Vea, Whitehead, RoJo, and Cappa have made into year 2 and it is only four games into their second season.

    Gay has the talent and now he has the coaching to correct his issues with the right hash.

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    • Great point Alldaway. Jason Licht deserves a lot of credit for how strong his 2018 draft is looking with Vea, Cappa, Whitehead and RoJo.

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  6. Gay’s 58 yarder was awesome. To do this article without mentioning he missed his last pat but hits 2nd opportunity and hit the upright on another one is a disservice in my opinion.

    Trust me, I want him tone “the guy,” but objectively speaking there is still cause for concern on extra points

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    • The one hit the flag as it passed (on the correct side) the upright. That’s three points. Period.

      It might as well have gone right down the middle.

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  7. Keep it up! I have to admit after the Giants lost I lost all confidence in him. Glad to be wrong.

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  8. too early to declare the curse is over?
    Here’s hoping

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