Buccaneers at Cardinals: Five game-changing players for Week 6
By Bailey Adams
Last week, the Buccaneers really saw how a kicker can change the game. Well, really, they’ve seen that far too many times in the last few years. Nick Folk missed three field goals in a five-point loss to the Patriots. Earlier this week, Tampa Bay brought in Patrick Murray to hopefully solve the team’s kicking woes. If he can connect on his field goal chances on Sunday, it will put everyone’s minds at ease just a bit. Not only that, but he could certainly factor into the final score.
Murray was solid for the Bucs back in 2014. He has struggled with injuries since then, but is back to full health now. In that 2014 season, he went 20-for-24 on field goals. From 40-plus yards out, he was 11-for-13, including 5-for-6 from 50-plus yards out. If he can keep that consistency in his second stint with the team, it will be a huge deal. It feels like the Bucs are cursed at the kicker position. If Murray can break that “curse,” the organization should probably go ahead and put up a statue of him at One Buc Place.
The value of the kicker position can’t be overstated. Sure, 2-2 is nice enough, I guess. But the Bucs could really be 3-1 heading into a softer part of their schedule if they just had a more competent kicker. Dirk Koetter is definitely fed up with the struggles by now, considering his frustrations with it early in training camp. In Koetter’s words: “you’re a kicker. You’ve got to make your kicks.” If Murray can do so, he will be a big game-changer on Sunday.
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Who do you think will change the outcome of Sunday’s game, Bucs fans? Let us know in the comments, on Twitter or on Facebook.