First of two big days for Gostkowski

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Kicker Stephen Gostkowski connected on a pair of long field goals in the fourth quarter to help the Patriots emerge with a 20-10 triumph over the Panthers Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Gostkowski had missed a field goal in each of the previous two weeks and hadn't made a field goal of longer than 40 yards since Week 5. On Sunday, he hit field goals of 48 and 47 yards less than three minutes apart.

But Sunday's effort is nothing compared to what awaits Monday, when his wife, Hallie, is scheduled to be induced into labor with the couple's first child.

For now, Gostkowski was savoring the first big day and didn't care how ugly the win might have looked from the outside.

"You can't characterize a win," said Gostkowski. "A win's a win. They all count for one, whether you beat them by 100 or beat them by two. It all counts the same."

Gostkowski also downplayed the conditions.

"It wasn't the easiest day, but it was no Buffalo from last year," he said, recalling the windy conditions a year ago against the Bills. "It was just good to make a couple of kicks, get a win. I don't really think about conditions. We practiced in a lot worse during the week and it seemed a lot easier today than if we had been in the bubble all week."

With the two field goals, Gostkowski eclipsed 100 points for the season; he has reached that mark in each of his four seasons. Through 13 games, he's connected on 24 of 28 attempts.