The New England Patriots had to deal with missing Super Bowl 50 by just two points, but Stephen Gostkowski probably felt that loss more than anyone.
The Patriots kicker missed a first-quarter extra point in his team’s 20-18 AFC Championship Game loss to the Denver Broncos, and you couldn’t help but notice it when New England was forced to go for a two-point conversion (which they missed) to try to tie the game in the final minutes.
And Gostkowski recently told ESPN’s Mike Reiss that he’s had to get over it quickly.
“I’ve always been hard on myself whenever I have a bad game, especially when we lose,” Gostkowski said. “But I’ve never once hung my head down. You have to have a short memory in this game, but I’m always hard on myself for a couple days, even when we win and I have a miskick. It’s a perfectionist’s job — you strive for perfection. I expect to make every kick, and when I don’t, it’s very frustrating.”
Of course, the loss wasn’t really Gostkowski’s fault. It was the first extra point he’d missed since his rookie season in 2006, and the Patriots had almost the entire game to make up for the mistake. But that didn’t stop Gostkowski from owning up to it.
“I just think the way the game ended, at the end of the game, it kind of hit me, and you only have 10 minutes to think about what to say (to the media),” Gostkowski told Reiss. “I’m the kind of person that would rather take more accountability than none at all. That’s just the way I was raised. When things don’t go your way, you can either sulk (and) make excuses or take accountability, and that’s how I feel I represent myself, my family and teammates in a positive way, even when things don’t go my way.
“… It hurt because I care and I want to win. But I don’t hold my head low. I work hard, I’ve done a good job, and things don’t always go your way. I’m not going to make excuses. I just felt really bad that the season came to an end.”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski on the side line during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Gillette Stadium.