Gostkowski 'trying to kill the ball' on kickoff

Gostkowski 'trying to kill the ball' on kickoff
December 15, 2013, 5:30 pm
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MIAMI GARDENS -- Last Sunday, Stephen Gostkowski was fat and happy, the key component in an improbable Patriots win.
 
This week? Not so fat. Not so happy.
 
Gostkowski missed a 48-yard field goal and hooked a kickoff out of bounds in the fourth quarter right after the Patriots had gone ahead 20-17 with 4:14 remaining.
 
The Dolphins took over at their 40 and used that momentum to go 60 yards in nine plays and go ahead 24-20.
 
“It was just a case of overkicking and trying to kill the ball,” said Gostkowski. “Not a good kick at all. Terrible timing. It’s a play I wish I could take back. It stinks. Stinks to lose and stinks to have an effect on the game like that. I was just trying to kill the ball. Trying to hit it too hard and that’s tough to do when you’re not under control.”
 
Gostkowski has made critical kicks against the Bills, Jets, Falcons, Broncos and Texans this season. He’s made 32 of 35 field goals and buried kickoffs into the end zone preventing returns with regularity.
 
But his miss from 48 yards to end the opening drive of the second half was reminiscent of the missed 46-yarder by Miami kicker Caleb Sturgis in the first meeting between these teams. The Patriots went on to erase a 17-3 deficit in that game. On Sunday, the Dolphins came back from 10-0.  
 
“I felt like I hit it pretty good,” said Gostkowski. “The wind was blowing left to right all day and I played it left middle. I felt like I hit it right where I aimed, it just kind of leaked left a little bit. It’s upsetting. There’s very few times I feel like I hit a kick well and I miss. Usually I just hit a crappy kick. Felt like I put a good swing on it and it was a good operation. Today just wasn’t my day and it stinks to play terrible when your team loses.”
 
Gostkowski is not a standard-issue kicker. He’s as athletic as a lot of the everydown players. He takes losses hard.
 
“I don’t like to lose,” he said. “This team doesn’t like to lose. But you don’t win every single time and when you don’t, you point the finger at yourself, say, ‘I screwed up and could have done better’ and you do better the next time.”