Sunday evening, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were on the cusp of celebrating a critical victory at home. Quarterback Jameis Winston had connected with wide receiver Mike Evans on a 44-yard play to set up the game-winning field goal attempt. Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, a delay of game penalty moved the spot back five yards and increased the distance to 34 yards. Still, this should have been a likely kick for rookie Matt Gay.
However, he pushed the kick too far right and sealed the victory for the opposition. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones and the New York Giants would be leaving Florida with their first victory of the season.
The Buccaneers, on the other hand, would head home with a 1-2 record.
As expected, this critical miss frustrated members of the Buccaneers fanbase. This team has dealt with inconsistent field goal kickers in the past, including former draft pick Roberto Aguayo. The rookie Gay was supposed to come in and solidify this position for head coach Bruce Arians.
Gay was solid overall during the first two games of the season. He entered this matchup with the Giants having made all four extra points and three of his four attempted field goals. Sunday was very different as the rookie missed one extra point, had another blocked, and missed the game-winning field goal.
There are some NFL head coaches that have earned a reputation for being quick with their roster decisions. Minnesota Vikings leader Mike Zimmer is the perfect example after he drafted Daniel Carlson in 2018, only to release him after the second game of the season. Will something similar happen in Tampa Bay? According to Wikipedia, the answer is yet.
Matt Gay missed the kick only 2 min ago and Wiki already on top of it 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/MZsp55prqw— Brynn Sprinkle (@TruthfullyTTV) September 22, 2019
Sometimes, you think you have the perfect scenario only to watch it fall apart in a terrible manner. Obi-Wan Kenobi believed that Anakin Skywalker would bring balance to the Force. Instead, he murdered a bunch of Younglings and ruined the Jedi Temple. Similarly, Matt Gay was supposed to erase the kicker curse that has plagued this Buccaneers team, but he missed a game-winning field goal.
Quarterback is viewed as the most important position in the NFL, but it is not considered to be the most difficult to play. This honor actually belongs to the kicker. When everything is going right, these specialists are revered for their ability to secure victories. When they struggle, however, the kickers receive an inordinate amount of vitriol.
How I feel about Matt Gay rn pic.twitter.com/t9KTNsD3VJ— Joe-l 🌴 (@Jameisindacut) September 22, 2019
For many fans of the Buccaneers, Matt Gay missing the game-winning field goal simply boiled down to the distance. When it comes to long-distance kicks, he is money. Anything under 40, however, and he struggles mightily. If accurate, this would explain why head coach Bruce Arians reportedly took the delay of game penalty on purpose to move the kick further away from the goal line.
Matt gay, 60 all day. Under 40, don’t play.— live tattooist (@livetattooist) September 23, 2019
Is there a curse in Tampa Bay? According to many Buccaneers fans, the answer is a resounding yes. Since the team released Matt Bryant in 2008, they have struggled to find a consistent presence on special teams. Whether it was Mike Nugent, Rian Lindell, Connor Barth, or Roberto Aguayo, these replacements have all struggled to perform under pressure.
I'm actually a little heart broken right now @Buccaneers @Utah_Football kicker matt gay just missed a game winning field goal. Had the chance to break the curse and never worry about a kick going forward and then he missed....#NYGvsTB #kickersarpeopletoo— Coy Christensen (@CoyC21) September 22, 2019
Sunday football is serious business for those that worry about the over, the under, and the line. Properly selecting the winning teams and the final score can often result in a big payday or a severe lack of cash. For some football fans, this miss by Matt Gay was the one play that ruined a perfect day of selections.
One of the more underrated storylines of Sunday's loss to the Giants is that quarterback Jameis Winston looked extremely capable while leading his team on multiple scoring drives. The former first overall pick started the season with inconsistent play, but he recovered on Sunday and connected with Mike Evans for three big touchdowns. Of course, the fans believe that Gay's miss ruined this performance by Winston.
Winston dropped 3 TDs on 380 yards only for Matt Gay to blow the game winning FG pic.twitter.com/tF3dJxv9Ji— 🦇 (@YZYSZN23) September 22, 2019
Buccaneers fans are taking this loss to rookie Daniel Jones pretty hard. Eli Manning's replacement was not supposed to be this good during his first start, but he accounted for four touchdowns, including the game-winning run. To make matters worse, Matt Gay missed the final field goal.
I’ve been playing in traffic waiting for a random vehicle to hit me. But like Matt Gay they missed.— Eric B. (@ediddy1979) September 23, 2019
Becoming heavily invested in an NFL team is a risky proposition. On one hand, watching your favorite team win the Super Bowl creates a sense of euphoria that can't be legally recreated. However, there is also the other end of the spectrum. Often times, being so invested in a team can lead to poor decisions during fits of rage. Specifically, breaking nearby objects.
I was so mad that I broke my candle.. Matt Gay you owe me a new candle— Evans 🐐 (@MikeEvansSZN) September 23, 2019
Sometimes, losing a close game can bring about some surprising emotions. In this instance, watching Matt Gay miss the game-winning field goal sent some of the Buccaneers fans into such a rage that they wanted to get rid of all of their gear. Additionally, some of these fans already believe that the rookie kicker is the absolute worst.
Matt Gay is THE worst @Buccaneers freaking embarrassment to your fans and the organization ...ridiculous ..I wish I could throw away all my Bucs gear. Total waste.— Vanessa (@nessita777) September 23, 2019