Stephen Gostkowski is confident he won’t be ‘overwhelmed by the situation’ on Sunday
|02.02.12 at 12:20 pm ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — Where was Stephen Gostkowski on fourth-and-13 at the Giants 31 late in the third quarter?
One of the lingering questions from Super Bowl XLII for Patriots fans. Bill Belichick chose not to rely on Gostkowski’s leg indoors at the University of Phoenix Stadium on what would’ve been a 49-yard field goal. Instead, the Patriots went with a fade route for Jabar Gaffney that landed incomplete.
Those three potential points were the difference as the Giants won, 17-14. There were nearly as many theories about about why Belichick didn’t go for it as there were theories on Roger Clemens coming out of Game 6 of the ’86 Series against the Mets. There was rumors of a lingering injury, field surface, more trust in Tom Brady, etc.
But rest assured, Gostkowski will be ready come Sunday in Indianapolis should his name get called this time by Belichick.
“I just want to play well and I want to win,” Gostkowski said Thursday. “I feel like I do a good job not getting overwhelmed by the situation. Even playing in preseason games are nerve-racking. You’re playing for your job and for a spot on the team. It picks up as the year goes on, but you’ve been doing it all year. Although the stage might be bigger, the goal posts are the same size, the football is the same and the guys playing around me are the same. If you’re confident in your ability, you should be able to have success. At the same time, you have to be humble because any player is one play away from being the hero or the goat. It’s something that you sign up for.”
That’s interesting because when the subject of big kicks came up, Gostkowski said he’s been somewhat a victim of the Patriots great offensive success under Tom Brady, where the field goal has not been as big a weapon as it might be on other teams.
“I feel like that there’s been a bunch,” Gostkowski said of memorable kicks in his career. “I had three field goals in the ’16-0′ game [against Giants in 2007], had a game-winner against the Chargers my rookie year , had two big kicks in the AFC championship my rookie year that we end up losing [to Colts] at the end but we were close to winning that. We’ve won a lot of games around here and there’s been a lot of games won by a few points, like the game-winner last year against Baltimore [in overtime]. It’s hard to put yourself in opportunities.
“I feel like I’m getting asked this question about big, memorable kicks and you can’t sign up for them. It’s not like I can sign up for them and say, ‘Hey, put me in that situation.’ I feel like I get penalized sometimes for being on such a good team. All I can do is make the kicks that I’ve been put out there to make and I feel I’ve been doing that at a pretty high, successful rate.”
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