Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Chandler Catanzaro bought himself some time with his 59-yard kick in overtime.
After missing a potential game-winning field goal, Buccaneers kicker Chandler Catanzaro got something not many kickers receive, a shot at redemption.
With time winding down in overtime, Tampa Bay’s head coach Dirk Koetter opted to send out Catanzaro, who already missed two kicks on the day, for a 59-yard attempt.
For the past decade, Buccaneers fans have trained themselves to prepare for the worst when it comes to the kicking game. Ever since Tampa Bay let go of Matt Bryant, they haven’t found a strong leg.
Somehow, Catanzaro nailed the kick. He redeemed himself for the missed kicks in regulation, and all was forgotten. The Bucs were going home with a win. He propelled Tampa to a .500 record.
A win is a win, but that shouldn’t excuse Catanzaro’s poor performance so far this season. He is making 80 percent of his field goals. If the season ended today, that would be the second-lowest mark of his career.
Extra points are where the story gets aggravating. Last season with the New York Jets, Catanzaro nailed all 29 of his extra point tries. He has already missed three this season.
Tampa Bay signed Catanzaro to an expensive 3-year $9.75 million deal, with $3.75 million guaranteed. That’s a steep price for a kicker with the mediocre production he has put forth so far.
Despite the struggles, it will be tough to sell cutting a kicker that just sent a ball through the uprights in overtime.
Catanzaro is indeed on thin ice, but he managed to bounce back and secure a Buccaneers victory. If he misses another kick next week, then his time in Tampa may be up.
For now, it is best to see if this kick can give him the confidence to become the answer to the long-time kicking woes of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.