Every kick crucial for Gostkowski

Every kick crucial for Gostkowski
October 23, 2012, 5:29 pm
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FOXBORO -- Is it a problem that Stephen Gostkowski didn't talk to reporters after the Jets game?

No.

But the move puzzled a few people. Gostkowski performed well on Sunday. He hit two clutch kicks -- one from 43 yards that tied the game with less than two minutes to play, and another from 48 that propelled New England to a 29-26 victory.

Why not revel in it? Why leave punter Zoltan Mesko to answer the questions?

"I didn't know he talked for me," Gostkowski replied Tuesday. "Zoltan's a good talker."

Yes, that last bit had some bite to it.

Maybe he doesn't care about personal victory parades. The kicker will offer himself up after any mistake, notably after missing Week 3's game-winner in Baltimore. Most of the time, however, nobody bothers with him.

Like after the Bills game.

"I heard I got in trouble for not talking after the Buffalo game, but I was in there," Gostkowski noted. "Nobody talked for me. I'm not taking the fall for that one."

Gostkowski missed two field goals that day. Both were blown in the first half -- the first from 49 yards, the second from 42. With the Patriots trailing 14-7 at the break, those bad kicks But New England exploded for 35 unanswered points in the second half en route to its 52-28 win and Gostkowski was largely forgotten.

Three weeks later he was a hot commodity again. After skipping the back-patting on Sunday night, he came around to the Jets game on Tuesday.

Still, Gostkowski tried to shrug off singular focus.

"It was positive for everybody. We won," he said. "I had a chance to help the team and I came through. It was fun. It was a good feeling to come out with a win, a division win, against a team that we like to beat."

You see, each kick for Gostkowski is important whether the fans remember it or not. What it comes down to is points on the board, basic math. That's it.

"I try to keep the same focus whether it's a first quarter, second quarter, or third quarter kick because there have been games where I've made or missed kicks where we've ended up winning by three, or that third point could have really helped," Gostkowski explained.

"The dramatics of it might change when you look back at it, but during the game I want to make every kick. If I'd missed a kick in the first quarter I would have been just as upset as if I missed one at the end of the game."