Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Roberto Aguayo's missed kicks trigger Bucs' slide to 37-32 loss to Rams

TAMPA — Bucs rookie K Roberto Aguayo struggled for the second straight game, missing an extra point and a 41-yard field goal in a five-point loss to the Rams on Sunday.

"Obviously you can't miss an extra point, and the field goal is more difficult, but that was just one of many things that we didn't do good enough tonight," coach Dirk Koetter said.

Aguayo, a second-round pick out of Florida State, missed a field goal last week after going 5-for-5 on kicks in the season opener.

"That wasn't my day," Aguayo said. "I'm just excited for next week, to move on. Excited to get back to my craft."

The missed kicks cost the Bucs. Down 31-26 in the fourth quarter after a touchdown, they had to go for two and missed; down 37-32, they went for two again and missed again.

"We said it on the headphones right after the extra point: You play that game the rest of the game," Koetter said of going for two. "You're in that mess of figuring out the two-point chart the rest of the night, and it hurt us."

Up 37-26 with 4:38 to play, the Rams failed on a two-point conversion. There's no obvious reason why a team would not kick the point after for a 12-point lead, in which case a touchdown and field goal cannot tie the score.

THREE ALREADY: WR Mike Evans had three touchdowns all of last season, but now has touchdowns in each of the Bucs' first three games to match his output from all of 2015. He had 10 catches for 132 yards, catching his touchdown from Jameis Winston with 2:15 left as Tampa Bay pulled within a touchdown.

CAREER HIGH: WR Adam Humphries reset his career highs with nine catches for 100 yards as he and Evans emerged as Winston's top targets. Humphries' emergence came as the Bucs continue to use veteran WR Vincent Jackson less — he had two targets before the final drive, then got four on the final drive, catching one for 15 yards. Evans had 13 targets and Humphries 12.

STEPPING IN: With RB Doug Martin sidelined by a hamstring injury, Charles Sims stepped in as starter — while he was held to 6 yards on six carries in the first half, he finished with more than 100 yards of total offense, rushing for 55 yards and catching six passes for 69 yards.

TAKEAWAYS, FINALLY: The Bucs waited three games for their first takeaway, but it was a big one, as LB Kwon Alexander intercepted a Case Keenum pass and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown. The Bucs also had LB Lavonte David force a fumble that was recovered by S Chris Conte, leading to another touchdown.

THIS AND THAT: Undrafted rookie DE DaVonte Lambert made his first start, filling in for the injured Robert Ayers. Lambert had two tackles. … WR Freddie Martino made his debut, on the kneeldown play to end the first half.

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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