Buccaneers at Vikings: Five game-changing players
By Bailey Adams
The offseason was an eventful one for the Buccaneers, especially when it came to the kicking position. 2016 second-round pick Roberto Aguayo struggled as a rookie, so Tampa Bay wanted to bring someone in to challenge him. That someone was veteran Nick Folk, who is in his 11th season. The two traded momentum throughout camp, but after a disastrous preseason opener, Aguayo was let go. There was still some hesitance in awarding the job directly to Folk, who was struggling some too. However, that hesitance may be gone after last week.
In the season-opening win against the Bears, Folk connected on field goals from 42, 50, and 23 yards out. He did miss one extra point, but that felt like far less of an issue once he delivered on a 50-yarder as time expired in the first half. Of course, the Bucs will want him to clean things up on the extra point attempts. A miss in a close game can be costly. However, with accuracy on field goals from longer distances, Folk might be a weapon for Tampa Bay after kicking struggles in recent years.
After years of consistency from Matt Bryant and Connor Barth, the Bucs saw some serious problems in the kicking game. They tried to fix those issues with Aguayo, but it didn’t pan out. Now, with Folk, they hope they have someone they can rely on from longer distances, as well as in clutch time. If Sunday’s game is a close one, the veteran may be a key player that can decide the game’s final score.
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Who do you think will change Sunday’s outcome, Bucs fans? Let us know in the comments, on Twitter or on Facebook.