When the New England Patriots elected to replace Stephen Gostkowski’s franchise tag with a four-year, $17.2 million deal back in July, the franchise committed themselves to a luxury not many NFL teams can say they have these days, a reliable and clutch kicker.
If you were to include Gostkowski’s tenure with Adam Vinateri’s time in New England, the sustained success at the position covers almost three decades and seven super bowl runs. In an NFL season where kickers are struggling to adapt to the new 33 yard extra point distance, Gostkowski remains perfect, with an NFL record streak that grows each week. He is arguably the best kicker in the NFL, and a Pro Bowl selection all but certain in 2015.
He finally missed his first field goal attempt all season last week against the Buffalo Bills (From 54 yards), but rebounded by drilling a 47 yarder to force overtime in Denver snow that showed shades of the Snow Bowl in 2001. He never says much, his press conference following the New York Giants win was the first time he went to the podium all season, but he is the ideal poster child for Head Coach Bill Belichick’s “Do Your Job” motto. “That’s the guy you want out there” Belichick said following that game.
Back to Sunday night, Goskowski again was called upon to do his job, to try and continue a game that was slipping away from the Patriots, a team that looked shell-shocked following Gronkowski being carted off. With the wind at his back, “Ghost” (a nickname given to him by teammates) stepped up to the line, likely sang the mystery song (he refuses to share) in his head, and helped breathe life back into his team with a beautiful boot right down the middle. As the late Stuart Scott would say, “he’s as cool as the other side of the pillow.” On a night where it felt like nothing went the Patriots way, the moment will be largely forgotten, but Gostkowski’s growing contributions to the success of the Patriots over the years will never be.
Gostkowski is so friggin' good.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 30, 2015
Stephen Gostkowski is one cool customer.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 30, 2015
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