Gostkowski's Bounce Back 'Good to See'

Mike Hogan

Nobody should be surprised.

Six days after the worst performance of his career, kicker Stephen Gostkowski showed the consistency expected of him when the Tennessee Titans signed him at the end of training camp.

Gostkowski made both of his field goal attempts in the Titans’ 33-30 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday at Nissan Stadium. The 15-year veteran made a 51-yard attempt as time expired in the first half and drilled a 49-yard game-winning field goal with just over a minute remaining in the ball game.

“It was good for him to go out there and have a really good game,” special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman said during a video press conference on Thursday. “Whether it was at the end of the half or the end of the game. He had been practicing like that since he got here. He was making those kicks.”

In the Titans’ 16-14 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 1, Gostkowski felt frustrated and embarrassed after he missed three of his field goals, had another one blocked and missed an extra-point attempt.

Gostkowski, who spent his first 14 seasons with the New England Patriots and ranks among the top 10 in NFL history in field goal percentage, became the first kicker since September 1968 to miss four times in his first game with a team. Before his performance in Denver, Gostkowski had never three field goals and four total kicks in a game.

Despite his struggles against Denver, he made the biggest kick of the game. With 17 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the 36-year-old made a 25-yard field goal to push the Titans past the Broncos.

With his game-winner on Sunday, Gostkowski became the first kicker in franchise history to make back-to-back game-winning kicks to start the season. In addition, he became just the fourth kicker in franchise history to make game-winning kicks in any two consecutive games. Joe Nedney (Oct. 14-21, 2001), Rob Bironas (Nov. 26–Dec. 3, 2006) and Ryan Succop (Sept. 16-23, 2018) are the others.

“It was a great situation to be put in,” Gostkowski said on Sunday. “We had the lead most of the game. It was tied at the end, and to get a chance to win at the end of the game, that’s what you practice for. Luckily, we were able to come through today. It’s exciting to get the win and get the Titans to 2-0.”

Milestones are nothing new for Gostkowski. His 205 total postseason points rank second in NFL history. In 28 career postseason games, including three Super Bowl victories, Gostkowski has made 39 of his 44 field goal attempts (88.6 percent). He has led the league in field goals three times in his career.

If Sunday was an indicator, Gostkowski, who missed much of last season with a hip injury, could very well be back in elite form.

At least that is what the Titans hope.

“It was good to see him get that confidence back and get back into that groove so he can help our team win,” Aukerman said. 

Register today for free or log in to access this premium article.