Roberto Aguayo's very bad, awkward night ended perfectly, with him playing hero for the Bucs.
After missing field goals from 33 yards an 46 yards, the Buccaneers rookie kicker -- taken with a second-round pick -- quickly leapt from hero to goat in the span of a few seconds courtesy of a 38-yard field goal to win the game against the Panthers.
Right. Down. The. Middle.
Roberto Aguayo's Game-Winning FG! 🙌 #TBvsCAROctober 11, 2016
Afterward you could see the relief on the former Florida State kicker's face as he spoke with ESPN's Lisa Salters.
"It meant the world. With the way the game played out, there were a couple of kicks I missed," Aguayo said. "Especially that one, that was a hard one to come back and get it through. At the end of the day, you've got to go back and go to fundamentals."
There wasn't a whole lot of enjoyable football in the Bucs-Panthers game on Monday night, save for a tiny third-quarter stretch where both offenses opened things up. Otherwise it was a boring, conservative football fest filled with myriad mistakes.
One such mistake was Dirk Koetter's decision to play it softer than the cashmere sweater that came with his reading glasses on third down and the Buccaneers marching late in the fourth quarter. Instead of allowing Jameis Winston to go for a first down, Koetter called for a Jacquizz Rodgers run that got stuffed.
It set up Aguayo for a 46-yard field goal and, uh, spoilers, but guess what happened.
Yup, he missed.
Aguayo was famously taken in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft when the Buccaneers traded up to get him. He was one of the most accurate kickers in college history and he has been an unmitigated disaster since coming to Tampa Bay.
Koetter's words at halftime to Salters made clear just how miffed he was at how his kicker was performing.
"I haven't said anything to him, I'm not going to say anything to him. I'm not going to say anything to him. He should know what he's doing," Koetter said according to Salters. "He probably wouldn't like what I have to say anyway."
Multiple misses, as Jon Gruden pointed out, put his NFL career on the line. Shanking the potential game-winner would be a very not good thing.
But he drilled it. And he can thank the Panthers for helping too, because they didn't show any interest in winning the game. Mike Shula coached in a similarly soft fashion to Koetter on offense. Kawaan Short also yanked on a face mask, moving the Bucs within decent range for a make. \
Don't grab the face mask and you force Aguayo into trying to make a field goal longer than 50 yards with the weight of his teammates and coaches ire looming large. True to his nickname -- Mr. Perfect? -- and true to his college performance, Aguayo stepped up in crunch time and totally redeemed himself.