No one player should have been blamed more for the Bucs loss to the Texans than kicker Kyle Brindza. The Bucs kicker missed two crucial field goals and an extra point before the Texans would take a 10 point lead late in the 4th quarter. Brindza's 3rd missed field goal didn't have near the negative effect since the Bucs were already too far out of reach with limited time to go.
“No. Kyle is our kicker,” Smith said after Sunday's loss. “He, like a lot of us, had a disappointing day. That hasn’t been the case. You’re going to have off days, and this was an off day. When a player has an off day, we need to rally around him in other ways, and that’s what we weren’t able to do.”
While Lovie may be right about a player having an "off day," the fact is that kickers aren't granted the chance to have many "off days." If Brindza makes either of his makeable field goals from earlier in the game, the Bucs are playing with the lead in the 4th quarter, and everything may have been different.
"Special teams, we realize we didn’t get it done, especially with the field goals," Lovie said. "Kyle [Brindza] is a good kicker."
Kyle Brindza has the electric leg that you need to be an NFL kicker, but a lack of accuracy is nothing new to Brindza. As a senior at notre Dame in 2014, Brindza was just 14-24 on field goal attempts, a whopping 58%. Through three NFL games, Brindza is 5-9, 55%.
Here's the draft preview of Brindza from NFL.com:
Punted, kicked field goals and handled kickoffs for Notre Dame. Has requisite power in his leg by NFL standards. Averaged 63.4 yards per kickoff with a 64.2 percent touchback mark.
Passive on kick coverage. Unlikely to be a reliable last line of defense against stray returns. Made just 58.3 percent of his kicks in 2014. Struggled late in games -- five of his 10 misses last season came in the fourth quarter or overtime.
I'm all about 2nd chances, especially if the kid has the natural talent to be special, but I'm not willing to give those 2nd chances at the cost of losing football games.
The first time Brindza lines up for a field goal at Raymond James Stadium this weekend against the Panthers, there will be intense pressure on his shoulders. After reading his weaknesses from NFL.com, it doesn't sound like he handles pressure too well.