Barth’s perfect in season debut for Tampa Bay Buccaneers; shows improved strength in kickoffs

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Connor Barth made his much anticipated return to the National Football League on Sunday and the former Hoggard High School standout made the most of his opportunities as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated Jacksonville Jaguars 38-31 at Raymond James Stadium.

Barth took over for since-released Kyle Brindza at the beginning of last week after the rookie kicker missed six of 12 field goals plus two extra-point tries in his brief stint in the job.

Connor Barth. Photo courtesy- Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Connor Barth. Photo courtesy- Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Wilmington native was perfect on the day, splitting the uprights on field goals of 35, 45 and 47 yards and had no trouble with a trio of extra points.

While Barth has been steady on field goals through the course of his NFL career, one of the reasons he was said to have been released from training camp in Denver earlier this year was the fact his kickoffs did not have enough hang time or distance. But, his first kickoff since 2010 went out of the end zone for a touchback and he put all eight of his kicks into the end zone, totaling five touchbacks in the kicking game, giving the Jaguars field possession at their own 20-yard line.

Coming off the disappointing loss to the Carolina Panthers two week ago, Tampa Bay improved to 2-3 on Sunday and head into their bye week, with a trip to the Landover, Maryland for a date with the Washington Redskins on Oct. 25.