Clutch Playoff Kicking Sheds Light

January 17th, 2017
Added pressure.

Mounting pressure.

You wouldn’t believe how many Twitters Joe got Sunday night about kickers.

First, when Packers kicker Mason Crosby hit two clutch over-50-yard field goals to put Green Bay into the NFC championship game, it stirred the anti-Roberto Aguayo crowd.

Later when Steelers kicker Chris Boswell, in icy, frigid conditions, booted the Steelers into the AFC championship game, that enraged the anti-Aguayo crowd.

Yes, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht traded up into the second round to select the kicker who never kicked a field goal longer than 43 yards this season.

The kicking Sunday night also got the attention of data driven Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times who Twittered out the following nugget.

@tometrics: Nine of the 12 kickers in the playoffs went undrafted. Exceptions: Janikowski, first; Gostkowski, fourth; Crosby, sixth.

@NFLResearch: Kickers had tough Week 11 (12 missed PATs) and missed season-high 15 FGs in Week 17

So far in playoffs? Perfect 33-of-33 FGs, 34-of-36 PATs

To further expand this line of thinking, here are the four kickers alive in the playoffs and how they came into the league:

Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh, undrafted.
Mason Crosby, Green Bay, sixth round.
Matt Bryant, Atlanta, undrafted.
Stephen Gostkowski, New England, fourth round.

The pressure on Aguayo, even in mid-January, mounts.

39 Responses to “Clutch Playoff Kicking Sheds Light”

  1. Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I like Licht. I think he does a great job. But that was a stupid move on his part; just like moving up to draft Sims when we needed Oline. We all do stupid things. Hopefully Licht will learn to be less cutesy

  2. Tampa Tony Says:

    When your kicker negatively impacts your offense he’s a liability. Playoff teams have kickers who can routinely make 50 yarders while Roberto can’t make it under 40 routinely.

    Bad draft choice on a mentally weak licker

  3. James Walker Says:

    Drafting ASJ was a stupid move.

  4. Rob Says:

    Roberto will get over the hype of coming into the nfl and turn it around. Then all of you will be happy he is on our team.

  5. JMN Says:

    At this moment in time, there are better kickers than Aguayo sitting on their couches as free agents. That is not to say it can’t change, but Aguayo has a lot of work to do and a lot to prove.

  6. NashvilleBuc Says:

    How did those kickers perform at the start their careers?

  7. webster Says:

    @ nashville

    I posted on another thread that aikman said during the game the packers kicker sucked his rookie career, but mccarthy was willing to stick with him. He is one of the best now.

  8. Tampa Tony Says:

    For anyone with their head in the sand hoping he will get better you might need to pray to whatever deity you worship. Look at his stats going back to college he’s consistently gotten worse kicking from 40 yards and longer. If this team needed a 50 yard ff to win a game they’d have a better chance with a Hail Mary than letting this kid kick

  9. DallasBuc Says:

    What a cupcake piece…fair to say that the pressure is mounting at least equally as much on AC/DC idiot.

  10. Bucnjim Says:

    Would like to see their first year stats just out of curiosity. I would probably give him another year to see if he can adjust.

  11. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    The nice thing about this debate is that it will should come to an end next year one way or the other.

    I had no problem with a kicker in the 2nd IF he was a generational kicker like Janikowski or Vinateri.

    Licht has gambled his chips that Ohnono is that man. Like most here I have my doubts having seen him this past year. His accuracy will improve…that was in his head…but I was disappointed in his leg strength…hopefully he can roid up like the rest of the guys and gain some distance.

    BTW Think the Pack fans would have been happy to have spent a 2nd rounder on Crosby? He’s been money this year and the Pack would be out of the playoffs without him?

    Tom Brady was drafted in the sixth round…Johnny Unitas was an UDFA…Mark Brunell 5th round…Rich Gannon 4th round….can somebody tell me why Licht had to waste a #1 pick on a QB? (snark font off)

  12. Buc'n Enough Says:

    Its not the kids fault he was drafted in the second round…it is
    Lichts fault…
    This team had so many other needs and he wasted the pick, even if this kid was great, it was still a wasted pick because it was not an immediate need for this team.

    Same is true for dancing Simms….he is average at best, when he is healthy.

    Licht has wasted more top round draft choices over the last three years.
    ASJ = 2nd rounder
    Kicker= 2nd round
    Simms = 3rd round

    If he had filled those picks with Oline or WR, we would have been in the playoffs this year.

    I get the fact the you don’t hit on all your picks, but the top round picks are supposed to make a positive impact…

  13. DallasBuc Says:

    Buc’ Enough- the only narrative to be advanced is that Licht should get all the credit for anything good that happens and none of the blame for the failures. Don’t mess with the sponsored narrative

  14. SCBucsFan Says:

    If – IF – he develops into a solid NFL kicker and a fixture behind the tee then I still don’t think he was worth a 2 – just doesn’t have the range. I support our GM and, at the time, thought the pick to be reasonable but I was wrong. While he might be an OK kicker he won’t be a stud. Next stage of his development – watching him learn how not to miss 50 yarders. Think of the field position we will be giving away next year after he misses.

  15. JMN Says:

    @ Buc’n Enough….Aguayo should be thanking Licht he got picked in the second round! That is the only reason he was on an NFL roster last year and is on a roster this year still cashing paychecks. If he went late round or was undrafted, any sane NFL GM would have dropped him from their team faster than a hot brick. See Kyle Brinza.

  16. Mike Johnson Says:

    Kid was not worth a 2nd rd pick. But it is what it is. He’d better be kicking his A.. Off during the off season. In yr 2, the fans are gonna boo him bigtime if he does not improve. We shall see if his..1st yr jitters improves. I hope so..for his sake. If not, Church’s chicken has entry level mngt openings all across FL.

  17. JJBucFan Says:

    St Pete, please turn your snark font back on…that was awesome! I guess a rookie can’t have a bad year. We have taken far worse 2nd round picks, he will improve, still just a kid, will turn 23 in May. Anyone that thought we SHOULD make the playoffs this year is a fool. We had a great year and yes, we could have made the playoffs but so could a lot of teams with a tweak here and there to the games. We need to learn how to win plain and simple…this was a year of learning. Next year I EXPECT to make the playoffs, anything else will be a disappointment.

  18. BringBucsBack Says:

    …and what “Rockstar” let Matt Bryant walk?

    Sadly, we won’t know for sure whether Rob is truly NFL material until we have kickers brought into camp to “compete” , possibly out-perform Rob, cut, picked up, have a better year than Rob, and Rob misses yet another FG or PAT that costs the improved team a playoff victory.

    THEN we will know for a certainty that Lichts movement to get and draft a kicker in the 2nd round, on a perennially losing team doesn’t make you the “smartest guy in the room”; it makes it the worst draft pick in many, many years!

    Hope I’m wrong!

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think it is WAY to soon to just give up on the kid. Therefore it is too soon to say Jason Licht made a mistake drafting him.

    Leading up to the draft, all I heard around here is “In Licht we trust!”

    Now that you actually have to trust him, you are all failing miserably.

    Maybe, just maybe, Jason Licht knew what he was doing. Just about everyone knew Aguayo would struggle in his first season, and those that did not were not being realistic.

    “Kickers don’t have a learning curve like other positions!”

    Well, guess what? They do. You all learned that this year.

    I’m all in favor of bringing in competition. It can only make Aguayo work harder. You can bet though, that he is working his tail off to improve right now. Undoubtedly, Robert will be better when we see him next. The only question is how much better?

    Give it time. Have a competition. See how things shake out. Instead of hoping for Aguayo to fail just so you can justify your position, actually “trust in Licht” like to proclaimed to do previously. Or was that all talk?

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I might add…Jason Licht used a second 2nd round pick. It won’t define him. GMs have bad 2nd rounders all the time. The only reason this is even an issue is because it was a kicker.

    But really, what does it matter? It could have been anything and still failed.

    IF the player actually is a bust, which is not determined yet.

  21. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    the only narrative to be advanced is that Licht should get all the credit for anything good that happens and none of the blame for the failures.

    Nah…not really…it’s just seems that way because of your blind negativity.

    Everybody I read here believes the Bucs are a work in progress. NOBODY thinks they are flawless. But why should we waste our time pointing out the flaws when we have YOU. It’s all you can see!!!!

    The Dallas way of creating a team…you build on focusing on the negative.

  22. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    EXACTLY! ASJ was a second rounder and while there was some beotching when he busted it was largely muted because he at least looked like Tarzan and on paper he was the man and we all lust for a great TE for #3.

  23. DallasBuc Says:

    StPete- well golly gee wilickers you’re right! All we need is more blind positivity of the nature you pedal and we would be sitting on around with more SB rings than we know what to do with. Because positivity and JBF aas kissing is the real key to scoring points and winning football games in this league, not making good personnel decisions and talent evaluations. That’s for those blind negativity merchants who all they want to do is see things for what they are no matter how negative. Super bad people.
    Way to set it straight StPete!

  24. ben Says:

    st pete .. I put my $ on season tkts each year so wasting 2 picks on a kicker does matter….

  25. Buc'n Enough Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai

    I agree, maybe he will turn into a great kicker …one day ( lets hope so)…however, my issue is that it was not a NEED by this team that could not be addressed in a later round or as a UDFA….

    My issue is and still remains, that this team needed other positions filled way worse than kicker and our GM went wacky with a second round pick..
    It was a “hey, look at me pick” instead of filling a logical need at WR, OL or any other position that this team still needs..

    If the kid can’t kick, then he can’t kick, your not going to intimidate him into kicking better or threaten him to kick better, he wants to kick better…maybe he does not have it…that would be another 2nd round BUST on JL…simple as that. it just hurts worse cause it’s a kicker, not a position of need.

  26. Bucsfanman Says:

    It’s too late to cry over the picks. He’s ours! Personally I’m hoping he gets it right and puts this to rest. If not, see ya!

  27. ZonaBuc Says:

    He was a rookie! Calm down. There were times i cringed when i saw him come out this year. Look at his rookie stats though. Then compare to great kickers during their rookie season. Aguayo has a high ceiling. Tampas coming together, slowly but surely.
    So were you up in arms when the Bucs cut 2015 rookie Kyle Brindza, who had made multiple kicks of 50+ with the Bucs, after just a handful of games? –Joe

  28. ZonaBuc Says:

    He was 1 of 3 at 50+ joe cmon … He was 2-of-4 from 50+, including a 58-yarder. Kicked out of town after four games at 22 years old. So were you outraged? –Joe

  29. ZonaBuc Says:

    Ok 50% at 50+. 33% at 30 to 40 right? Aguayo also 22, has a better college resume. Why would i be outraged over brindza?

  30. ZonaBuc Says:

    What did brindza do in 2016???

  31. Buccfan37 Says:

    Why would you take a kicker who can’t connect on a FG of apparently 45 yards or longer? He could make those kicks if given the opportunity, yeah right. Let him attempt a 50+ yard kick in a must make situation. Converting that distance will be a confidence builder. A 50 yard FG by Aguayo, will Buc fans ever see it?

  32. Couch Fan Says:

    Glad to see some are using common sense. “Kickers dont have a learning curve” is an asinine comment when history shows they absolutely do. I agree bring in competition but you cant give up on the kid after 1 season.

  33. Enobmoz Says:

    Here are the people with brain cells: the ones that pointed out Roberto didn’t draft himself, Licht did. Here are the ones without brain cells: the ones raging about Roberto being drafted in the 2nd round. How quick to forget some people are. Guys, Aguayo was The-Most-Accurate-Kicker-In-NCAA-History. Are you kidding me? If you were in Licht’s shoes, you wouldn’t even consider it? You could’ve drafted a guy at another position who may or may not have been incrementally better than other prospects at that position, or you could go for the guy who separated himself BY FAR from the rest of his position competition. A kicker drafted that high is going to have ZERO margin for error, if the guy missed a single kick all year he was going to hear about it from you folks. The truth is, he didn’t have a bad year, he just wasn’t the absolute best kicker in the league. But ffs the potential is there and you have to be blind or suffer from a brain cell deficit to not see that.

  34. DallasBuc Says:

    Should have given up on him after the third preseason game. So much for Licht not holding the team hostage to poor decisions. Fair to say his ego has taken precedence over the good of the team. Some shameful sht.

  35. salish_seamonster Says:

    I think we should use our 7th round pick for the best kicker left on the board (if he’s any good).

  36. Fred E. Buc Says:

    A little devil’s advocate here. Who was it that was perfect to beat the Seahawks when the Bucs couldn’t get into the end zone? Who was it in Green Bay who had a lot of trouble the first couple of years but the Packers never wavered and supported their kicker through his troubles.

    That said, tough! Why?

    Oh yeah…who missed kicks that may have let the Panthers win last second in Week 17? Yup, Aguayo can go away any time and I’d not regret it.

  37. Fred E. Buc Says:

    And now a pause to demonstrate the Bucs clearly have a sense of humor. I got a survey today and one of the questions were whose jerzey I would purchase for a family member. Choices: Winston 3; Evans 13; GMac 93; Aguayo 19.

    Are you kidding me?

    Thank again, maybe I would buy one of the kicker…to build a voodoo doll (maybe that is the answer for Roberto).

  38. America's Commenter Says:

    The Bucs very likely would have made the playoffs in 2016 if they had a decent kicker. They missed the playoffs on the 5th tiebreaker to Detroit, so even one more win would have earned a playoff berth. Yes, it’s that serious of a situation.

    The Aguayo experiment was an unmitigated disaster and keeping him around only continues to shine a spotlight on that mistake whenever he misses a kick. Jason Licht needs to prove that he knows when to cut bait and move on from mistakes because Licht’s fingerprints are all over Aguayo.

    If that kicker costs the Bucs another playoff berth, or worse yet, loses a playoff game, the Glazers should hold Mr. Licht accountable by awarding him Third Prize (you’re fired!)

  39. Duke Says:


    “He didn’t have a bad year”

    Define “Bad”. If finishing dead last among all the 31 other kickers isn’t bad then Webster’s must have revised its definition of the word.