FOXBORO, Mass. — Kicking for the best offense in the NFL has its perks.
One, you win a lot of football games, which really is all that matters at the end of each week. And two, you develop quite a following.
Just ask Stephen Gostkowski of the New England Patriots.
Gostkowski set the NFL record for most consecutive successful extra-point attempts Sunday in the Patriots’ 51-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots kicker surpassed Matt Stover, who held the record with 422 straight PAT conversions, and added to his growing legend beyond the actual gridiron.
“It was cool. The fans have been great,” Gostkowski said after New England’s blowout victory. “They’re always yelling at me on the sidelines. Everyone’s a fantasy football coach now, so I’m pretty popular playing for the Patriots, getting a lot of points every week.”
Gostkowski, who’s converted 425 consecutive extra-point attempts after going 6-for-6 in Sunday’s win, consistently ranks among the top kickers in fantasy football because Tom Brady and the Patriots have a knack for lighting up the scoreboard. His impact extends beyond the fantasy realm, however.
The 31-year-old has evolved into one of the NFL’s most reliable kickers in his nine-plus seasons with the Patriots, evident by his three Pro Bowl selections and his near-perfect PAT conversion rate. Gostkowski has missed only one extra-point attempt in 465 career chances.
“Unfortunately, yeah, because they put it up on the Jumbotron before the game,” Gostkowski said of whether he was aware of his record-setting kick Sunday. “That’s not something I try to keep up with, but it was cool. It’s always fun to do well and win, just being on a good team that scores a lot of points.
“When you kick, you’re a beneficiary of opportunity. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to kick a lot of field goals, a lot of extra points. It’s fun when I get to get out there and play and do well.”
The Patriots’ “do your job” mantra is well-documented, and few kickers, if any, do their job as well as Gostkowski.
In fantasy or in real life.
Thumbnail photo via James Lang/USA TODAY Sports Images