Let’s phrase it as a riddle, to laugh to keep from crying. What wears red pajamas, has missed five of his last six field goals, and isn’t going to have a job this time next week? This guy:
Nick Folk missed all three of his field goals attempts last night in the Bucs’ 19-14 loss to the Patriots, and he missed them badly. The first two, from 56 and 49, both long enough to not be obvious makes, were about as wide as can be. The third, from 31 yards out...well, that’s the exact moment when the agents of every FA kicker dug out GM Jason Licht’s phone number.
“Yeah, I left points out there,” a mournful Folk said after the game. “We should’ve won that game 20-19. This one’s on me.” Even making just one of those three would have changed the game. If it had been a two-point game, the Buccaneers could have tried a winning field goal on their final drive, rather than running out of clock at the Patriots’ 19-yard line.
I hope he was at least able to find absolution:
Folk, 32, beat out former second-round pick Roberto Aguayo in training camp, after Aguayo was 71 percent on FGs and 94.1 percent on PATs last season. The Bucs wish they were getting numbers like that this year. Just four games, obviously, but Folk has made 54.5 percent of his FG attempts and 77.8 of his PATs.
Coaches obviously aren’t going to announce cuts immediately after games, but Dirk Koetter was about as unambiguous as you can get here. When asked if Folk would remain on as the Bucs’ kicker, Koetter replied,
“We’ll talk about that. Jason [Licht] and I had a brief conversation afterwards. That’ll be something that’ll be forthcoming. But you don’t want to make any rash decisions.”
Yeah, he gone. It’s a short season, and teams can’t afford to lose games because their kickers don’t hit kicks that NFL kickers should. At 2–2—yes, a disappointing 2–2 given their easy early-season schedule (their four opponents are currently a combined 6–11)—the Bucs are still contenders. But contenders once again in search of a kicker.