Stephen Gostkowski: 'Inexcusable' to miss extra point attempt

Stephen Gostkowski: 'Inexcusable' to miss extra point attempt

FOXBORO – Stephen Gostkowski’s been arguably the best kicker in football over the past three seasons. But so far this year, it’s been a struggle. Going into Sunday’s game against the Bengals, Gostkowski had missed three field goals in five games.

How uncommon was that? He’d missed eight in his previous 48 regular-season games, three total misses in both 2013 and 2015 and two in 2014.

Sunday, even though he made a 46-yarder earlier, his missed an extra point in the third quarter after a James White touchdown. He barely squeezed through a 31-yard field goal in the fourth.

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“For me, that’s inexcusable to miss a kick like that,” Gostkowski said of the extra point. "For me, I’ve had a few missed swings this year and I’m just trying to go out there and do my best to tighten it up. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you get unlucky, sometimes you’re just not as good as you need to be. I’m just trying to get to a point where I’m a consistent player on this team. That’s all I work for.”

It’s safe now to call Gostkowski’s start to this season a slump. He just doesn’t miss this often. He knows that.

“Sometimes you just can’t explain how and why things happen,” he said. “At the end of the day, we won. Got the game started off with a nice kick, had some good kickoffs. I just need to focus on the positives instead of dwelling on the negatives. It’s part of the game as a kicker, when you screw up, everybody notices you.”

The miss that may have started this skid could have been in the AFC Championship Game last season at Denver when Gostkowski missed his first extra point since 2006. Sunday, he missed his first regular season PAT since then.

“There’s still time,” he said. “I’ll do my best to straighten ‘em out. That’s the way the cookie crumbles, my man. I’m just happy we’re winning.”

The time will inevitably come when Gostkowski’s called on for a true pressure kick. An end-of-game job that will have folks wringing hands about the outcome until it goes through. Or doesn’t. Such is the life of a kicker.

Patriots re-sign 2016 practice-squad receiver DeAndrew White

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Patriots re-sign 2016 practice-squad receiver DeAndrew White

The Patriots announced today that they re-signed receiver DeAndrew White to help fill out their 90-man roster. White was a staple on New England's practice squad in 2016, signing on in mid-September and remaining with the club through its Super Bowl run.

Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Alabama in 2015, White made the 49ers roster out of training camp and played in four games, finishing with two catches for 18 yards. The 6-foot, 192-pounder also returned six kicks for 142 yards and returned one punt for 4 yards that year. 

The Patriots are as deep at receiver as they've ever been, it seems. White will slot in on the depth chart behind Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell and Danny Amendola. The team has a handful of long-shots at the position who could be ultimately competing for a shot to make the practice squad, including second-year player Devin Lucien and undrafted rookies Austin Carr and Cody Hollister.