BOSTON (CBS) – While the Patriots had plenty of miscues en route to their 20-18 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday, kicker Stephen Gostkowski will be viewed as the one who missed the best chance at a win.
Gostkowski sent a potential game-winning 42-yard field goal wide left with just seconds on the clock, leading to the Patriots first loss in their home opener in Gill
“You get opportunities like that not very often, and I have to do a lot better coming through for the team,” a somber Gostkowski said following the loss. “I had a chance to win, it came down to me and I didn’t pull through. It stinks. I feel bad for the fans and my teammates.”
Gostkowski Takes Blame:
Gostkowski, who was a perfect 6-for-6 on the season prior to the kick, said he felt good heading out onto the field.
“I just didn’t execute,” he said. “It wasn’t the smoothest hit. I looked up and saw it was wide left. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t fall your way. There is probably not another game I would be confident for a kick like that; it humbles you really quick.”
Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was whistled for a pair of penalties on New England’s final drive, was quick to take the blame away from Gostkowski after the loss.
“Stephen does a great job. He kicked four great field goals to keep us in the game. The loss is not on him,” said Gronkowski. “The loss could be on me; I had that penalty in the end – holding the guy. You can’t have that happen late in games. It’s definitely not on Stephen; great kicker and great player.”
“It’s a team game and certainly we shouldn’t have been leaving it up to that particular situation,” said quarterback Tom Brady. “We were fortunate to get that defensive turnover there late. We just came up short. We have opportunities to make plays and we’re just not making them. Just too inconsistent throughout the day to really put enough points on the board.”
The miss out-shined a very good game for Gostkowski, who became the first Patriot to ever kick two field goals of 50-or-more yards in the same game. His 53-yarder that made it a 20-12 Arizona lead in the fourth quarter was the longest by a Patriots player at Gillette Stadium.
But for Gostkowski, who is 147-for-174 over his seven-year career, Sunday’s up-and-down day is all just part of the life of an NFL kicker.
“I’m not scared to fail. It stinks when you do, but I wouldn’t go out there every day if I was afraid to screw up,” he said. “I’ll feel bad about this for a couple of days. I’m sure I’ll get ripped by it for the fans but it’s well deserved. My teammates have my back.”
“No one feels worse about missing the kick than I do. It’s the good ones that get over bad games that last awhile. If I let this affect me negatively, I’m not doing my job,” he said.