Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski blamed himself for New England’s loss to the Broncos after missing an extra point attempt in the first quarter.
The miss broke Gostkowski’s NFL-record streak of 523 consecutive extra points, stretching back to 2006.
“I feel like I lost the game for the team,” Gostkowski said, according to USA Today. “It’s a sickening feeling. I can’t put it into words.”
The missed point put the Patriots in the position to be within two points of tying the game with 12 seconds left. Their two-point conversion attempt was intercepted, and the onside kick that followed was also recovered by the Broncos, who secured their Super Bowl berth with a 20–18 win.
“I’ve made hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of those. Sometimes timing is everything,” Gostkowski said. “I never would have thought missing a kick in the first quarter would be the difference in the game, but that’s why you’ve got to be good all the time.
“I put them in a bad spot by missing that first kick. I was ready to go, hoping to get another shot, and I didn’t get it. It’s going to be a long few weeks.”
With the loss, the Patriots failed to earn a chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions. Instead, the Broncos will face the Carolina Panthers on Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET in Super Bowl 50.
- Erin Flynn