Tampa Bay’s Roberto Aguayo kicks last-second FG, beats Carolina - | WBTV Charlotte

Tampa Bay’s Roberto Aguayo kicks last-second FG, beats Carolina Panthers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) hits the winning field goal against the Carolina Panthers as time expires at Bank of America Stadium on Monday. The Buccaneers won 17-14 (David T. Foster III | Charlotte Observer) Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) hits the winning field goal against the Carolina Panthers as time expires at Bank of America Stadium on Monday. The Buccaneers won 17-14 (David T. Foster III | Charlotte Observer)
Carolina Panthers running back Cameron Artis-Payne, right of center, leaps into the end zone for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium on Monday (Jeff Siner | Charlotte Observer) Carolina Panthers running back Cameron Artis-Payne, right of center, leaps into the end zone for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium on Monday (Jeff Siner | Charlotte Observer)
CHARLOTTE, NC (Mike Persinger/Charlotte Observer) -

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo had missed off the right upright. He had missed to the left. But when the Carolina Panthers gave the rookie a chance to win the game, he did.

Aguayo’s 38-yard field goal on the game’s final play gave the Bucs a 17-14 victory over the Panthers on Monday night at Bank of America Stadium.

Set up by a Bucs drive that started at their 14 and was aided by a facemask penalty on Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy, Aguayo made the kick that counted most.

Aguayo had been 3-for-7 on the season before the kick, after the Bucs traded up in the second round to select the Florida State product who was the most accurate kicker in NCAA history.

“Look at these guys, they’re happy,” Aguayo said. “At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how you play, it’s just the number on the scoreboard.”

The Panthers were playing without quarterback Cam Newton, who missed the game while in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Derek Anderson passed for 278 yards but threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. The third turnover, on first and goal from the 1 with the score tied at 14 and 8 minutes, 45 seconds to play, was the most crucial.

“I think I had him, I’ve just obviously got to throw it a little higher,” Anderson said. The guy made a good play. If I could have it back I’d obviously throw it away. But it’s football. They’ve got good players too.”

The Panthers are 1-4, with a trip to New Orleans to face Drew Brees and the Saints up next. Since 1990, only eight of 128 teams that started 1-4 have made the playoffs, although two of the eight came a season ago.

Touchdowns on the Panthers’ first two drives of the second half, on Cameron Artis-Payne touchdown runs of 1 and 12 yards, gave Carolina a 14-6 lead, but the Buccaneers came right back.

A 26-yard touchdown pass from Jameis Winston to Mike Evans, followed by a two-point conversion, tied the game at 14.

The Bucs had a chance to take the lead with 3:33 to play but Aguayo missed a 46-yard field goal wide left, his second miss of the night.

Three who mattered

Greg Olsen: A favorite of Anderson’s in each of his three starts in six seasons with Carolina, Olsen had nine catches for a career-high 181 yards. That’s the most receiving yards ever in a game by a Panthers tight end.

Jacquizz Rodgers: With the Bucs’ top two running backs out, 10 of the 15 plays on their opening field goal drive were runs by the 5-foot-6, 205-pound Rodgers. Another was a pass to Rodgers. He had 27 carries in the past two seasons. Rodgers finished with 30 carries for 101 yards.

Cameron Artis-Payne: A week after having their 30-game streak of at least 100 yards rushing broken, the Panthers had 136, led by Artis-Payne’s 85 yards on 18 carries.

Observations

  • Anderson spent most of the night doing just enough to manage the game, but twice in the fourth quarter he tried to do too much. On third-and-4 from the Tampa Bay 44 with the score tied early in the fourth, Anderson couldn’t find an open receiver and took off. He was met at the sticks by DaVonte Lambert. Anderson fumbled, Lambert recovered, but the Panthers forced a three-and-out. Later, he was intercepted on first and goal from the 1.
  • Anderson did Cam Newton’s Superman gesture when he came out of the inflatable tunnel after introductions.

Worth mentioning

  • Time of possession in the first quarter: 13:11 for the Bucs, 1:49 for the Panthers. Tampa Bay led only 3-0.
  • Teddy Williams had an eventful two-play span, with a third-down pass breakup and contact with Panthers return man Ted Ginn Jr. to cause a fumble on the punt. The Bucs recovered at the Carolina 30. Aided by two Bucs penalties, the Panthers forced a 33-yard Aguayo field goal attempt that bounced off the right upright. No harm, no foul.
  • Aquayo had two 35-yard field goals in the first half, and the Bucs led 6-0.
  • The concussion spotters removed center Joe Hawley from the game for one play in the final two minutes.
  • It was 63 degrees at kickoff. Perfect night for football.
  • Among the Bucs inactives were three defensive linemen and their top running back. Panthers were without their starters at quarterback, left tackle and running back. Suggested in the press box: The Attrition Bowl.

They said it

“The thing we didn’t do is we didn’t protect the football. That’s the thing we can’t do.” – Panthers coach Ron Rivera.

“We had bad plays at the wrong time. That’s probably the difference.” – Derek Anderson.

“They didn’t turn it over, we turned it over four times. Obviously the interception at the end was the difference-maker.” – Anderson.

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