Patriots Blog: Special Battle On Special Teams
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BOSTON (CBS) – It’s rare when the kickers are the super stars when breaking down a special teams match-up. But that will be the case Saturday night in Foxboro.
Every Super Bowl the Patriots have won, Adam Vinatieri’s right foot played a major part in it. The former Patriot-now-Colts kicker is 41-years-old, but nothing has really changed. He’s helped kick the Colts to a championship and he doesn’t look like he’s slowing down.
New Englanders are well aware that if the game comes down to Adam’s foot, the moment will not be too big for him. Vinatieri is still extremely solid (he hit 35 of his 40 field goal attempts this season) and probably has another game-winner in his leg should it come down to it.
But on the other side, the Patriots’ Stephen Gostkowski may be the best in the game right now. That’s what all his peers are saying and he has made enough clutch kicks this season to back it up. But, he doesn’t have the legacy kick just yet — that kick people point to and say, “that’s why he special.”
That can happen this postseason. Gostkowksi has helped the Pats get here, hitting 38 of his 41 attempts this season, and that onside kick against Cleveland helped them eventually secure the number-two seed.
Gosktowksi understands what Vinatieri meant to the New England franchise, and while he respects what #4 has done during his 18-year career, the guy kicking for the opposition means very little to him come game-time.
“He’s the best of the best,” Gostkoswki said of Vinatieri on Thusrday. “As far as does it matter that he’s playing? It doesn’t matter. Unless he’s trying to come block the kick or he’s going to be back there returning it, it’s just another game.”
If we were to match these two up, let’s call it a wash.
Tune in to Patriots-Colts Saturday night on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins on 98.5 at 5pm and on WBZ-TV at 7pm, with full postgame shows following the game.