This site has not always been extremely kind to Stephen Gostkowski. I have routinely criticized the Patriots all-time leading scorer over the past three years for missing kicks and PATs, sometimes even on the grandest stage of them all. However, credit where credit is due. Gostkowski had a brilliant month of October and deserves a shout out.
This week the Patriots kicker was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month after making 11/12 field goals and 15/15 PATs. This brings his season totals up to 17/19 field goals and 26/26 PATs.
Gostkowski had significant contributions to the Patriots offense in October, which lead to him earning this recognition. For example, he hit all five of the field goals he attempted against the Chiefs. In a shootout like that, missing even one of those kicks could have eventually cost New England the game.
Gostkowski’s success is even more impressive when you compare it to the rest of the league. Finding a consistent kicker seems like the hardest thing in the NFL right now. It is actually astounding how many teams have lost or nearly lost games due to kickers missing field goals or extra points in crucial spots. For example, the Browns would have one less tie and two more wins if they had a kicker as consistent and talented as Gostkowski.
To my credit, my constant lambasting of Gostkowski has never been out of a place of hatred. It is more an expression of disappointment. Gostkowski has been one of the better kickers in NFL history, which makes it shocking and frustrating when he misses kicks or extra points. The curse of watching the Patriots for the past two decades is that extraordinary starts to look like ordinary. Gostkowski’s October was extraordinary, and most other teams in the league would bend over backward to have him as a kicker. This is one of those moments where all Patriots fans (and writers), should take a step back and realize just how lucky they are to be watching a master at work.
Until next time – B$