FOXBORO, Mass. — Stephen Gostkowski drilled four field goals Sunday afternoon to help lift the New England Patriots to a 21-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
He won’t be thinking about those makes during the Patriots’ bye week, though. His two missed kicks are the ones that will stick in his mind.
Gostkowski missed wide left in the third quarter and wide right in the fourth, both from 43 yards out. It was just the third time in his 12-year NFL career and the first time since 2012 the 33-year-old had missed two field goals in the same game.
In the locker room afterward, Gostkowski preached positivity but admitted he does dwell on his mistakes.
“I get ticked off,” he said. “I get mad just like anybody else. But I don’t look at it as a Debbie Downer. It’s just part of the game. It stinks. I get mad. It’s going to bother me for a week. Probably two weeks. But that’s just part of the game. If you can’t deal with it, then you probably shouldn’t be here.
“It stinks. It’s tough to swallow. But we won, and it’s a little bit easier to wake up tomorrow knowing that when you do bad, the team can pick you up. That’s part of being on a good team.”
Gostkowski said he “didn’t get rotation” on his first missed kick. He believed he hit his second one well, but it got caught in the wind and sailed well wide of the uprights.
“I thought the second one I missed, I put a good swing on it,” said Gostkowski, who went 16-for-17 on field-goal attempts over the Patriots’ first seven games after struggling in 2016. “I maybe kicked at it too hard. That was into the wind. Sometimes if you’ve got a lot of spin on the ball, the wind’s going to affect it more, so you’ve just got to kick a ball that has less rotation on it so it cuts through the wind a little better.”
The field goal issues came on what otherwise was a banner day for the Patriots’ special teams units. New England recorded a safety on a punt and dominated L.A. in kick coverage, and Dion Lewis had a 71-yard kickoff return.
“It kind of stinks being the sore spot of the special teams, but they picked it up and made some great plays,” Gostkowski said. “We work hard at it, and guys take a lot of pride in it, (so) when it works out, it’s pretty cool.”
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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