Cairo Santos’ field-goal miss shows long-distance kicking woes
Eduardo Encina, Tampa Bay Times, published 24 December 2018

As Bucs kicker Cairo Santos lined up for his longest field-goal attempt of the year, a troubling success rate for Tampa Bay kickers on long attempts was at his back.

Santos had no elements to deal with inside AT&T Stadium, but he hooked a 52-yard attempt wide right early in the third quarter of the Bucs' 27-20 loss to the Cowboys on Sunday. After making his first three field-goal tries with the Bucs, Santos has missed three of his past seven.

If he had made the 52-yarder, he would have cut the Cowboys' lead to 14-13. Dallas hit a 20-yard field goal on its next possession, and the Bucs chased a lead of a touchdown or more thereafter.

Coach Dirk Koetter has bemoaned the Bucs' field-goal struggles between 40 and 49 yards, but Bucs kickers — Santos and the disposed-of Chandler Catanzaro — are 2-for-8 on attempts from 40 yards or longer this season. By comparison, they are 15-for-16 from inside the 40-yard line, and Santos is 5-for-5 in those situations.

Santos did convert two field goals Sunday, a 37-yard attempt to end the Bucs' first drive of the game and a 45-yard attempt with 9:13 left in the second quarter.