It was no secret Stephen Gostkowski had a rough Monday night.
The veteran kicker actually had possibly the worst game of his entire career, as he missed three field goals and an extra point in the Tennessee Titans‘ 16-14 win against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. Gostkowski did redeem himself by kicking the game-winning field goal with 17 seconds remaining, but that actually might’ve been the worst thing that could’ve happened to the Titans.
Stephen Gostkowski had an embarrassing debut for the Titans
Gostkowski has been one of the most reliable field goal kickers in the NFL for over a decade. He spent the first 14 seasons of his career with the New England Patriots and made a plethora of memorable kicks during his tenure there, but a change of scenery didn’t treat Gostkowski well.
In his first game with the Titans, Gostkowski missed three field goal attempts and an extra point. It was the first time in his career he missed three field goals in the same game.
The Titans could’ve cruised to victory Monday night against the Broncos, but Gostkowski’s kicking woes left 10 points out on the field. His blunders allowed the Broncos to cling to a one point lead late in the fourth quarter, but Gostkowski got a chance to redeem himself at the end of the game.
Gostkowski made the game-winning field goal for the Titans
Despite Gostkowski’s poor performance throughout the whole game, the Titans found themselves in a position to take the lead late in the fourth quarter Monday night. QB Ryan Tannehill led the offense into the red zone and stopped the clock with 20 seconds left in the game.
Out trotted Gostkowski, who was on the cusp of one of the most embarrassing kicking displays in recent memory. But, as he’s done so many times before, Gostkowski sent the kick straight through the uprights in the clutch, and the Titans went on to escape with a win.
“You don’t always get that lucky to get a chance to redeem yourself,” Gostkowski said after the game. “But I’m just happy that the guys got to celebrate. I’m disappointed in myself and embarrassed and frustrated, but at the end of the day, we won, and luckily, guys are happy going home.”
The team may be happy for now, but that might not be a good thing for the Titans going forward.
Why Gostkowski’s game-winning FG was the worst thing that could’ve happened to the Titans
The Titans were the worst team in the NFL last year in terms of making field goals. Their 44% make percentage wasn’t just the worst in the league, but it was also the worst in the NFL over the last two decades.
Tennessee thought it fixed its kicking woes by signing Gostkowski, but that clearly isn’t the case. The 36-year-old started to show signs of regression last season, and Monday night all but confirmed he’s lost his touch.
If Gostkowski had missed the game-winning field goal against the Broncos, he would’ve been off the roster before the team plane landed back in Nashville. But he made it, and the clutch winner all but wiped out his horrid performance for the previous 59 minutes and 43 seconds.
Stephen Gostkowski isn’t the answer to the Titans’ kicking woes. He will cost them more than one game this season if he sticks around and continues to miss easy kicks. The only reason he won’t be released this week is that he made the one that counted, and that will cost Tennessee in the long run.