The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended their three-game losing streak when they faced the Carolina Panthers on Monday night. They won by a scoreline of 17-14 thanks to a late game-winning field goal.
The Bucs defeated their divisional rivals and moved to a 2-3 record when rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo converted a 38-yard field goal to win the game. The pressure had been on him thanks to his poor start to the season and the fact the Bucs spent a second-round pick on him in the draft.
He had missed two kicks earlier in the night as well, and ESPN's Monday Night Football announcer Jon Gruden was on his back throughout the night, including on the last kick.
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Gruden said before Aguayo stepped up to take the field goal attempt that he was kicking “for his NFL career,” which might sound harsh due to the fact he had only just been drafted a couple of months ago, but that's the reality of the NFL these days.
Aguayo, one of the best kickers in college football history, had missed two field goals in the final three minutes of the game. That's two opportunities to win the game before the final kick he took. If he had missed the last field goal attempt, Tampa Bay might have gone to the extreme of releasing him.
Still, that wasn't the case as he managed to convert the kick from 38 yards, winning the game and in Gruden's mind, saving his NFL career.
He had missed more field goals than he made during the first four games of the season, and he was even booed at Buccaneers practice too, so fans will be glad Aguayo was successful when it mattered the most last night.