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Gostkowski revisits clutch kicks

10/23/2012

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Kicker Stephen Gostkowski delivered two of the biggest field goals of his seven-year Patriots career in Sunday's 29-26 overtime win over the Jets, but he had to rush out of the stadium before many media members arrived in the locker room.

So on Tuesday, Gostkowski drew a large crowd of reporters at his locker, and the discussion began with his 43-yard kick at the end of regulation to the closed side of Gillette Stadium, and then his 48-yard kick to the open end that turned out to be the game-winner.

"It was positive for everyone. We won. I had a chance to help the team and I came through. It was fun, a good feeling to come out win a division win against a team we like to beat," Gostkowski said.

"I'm always ready. I have a routine that I go through," he continued. "I don't usually start preparing to kick until we cross the 50, but a situation at the end of the half or the end of the game where things are sped up, I start my process a little earlier. Things just happened to flow well at the end of that game. There wasn't anything crazy that happened. They called my name, I went out there and kicked, and I did my job. I don't overthink things, and don't think 'this situation is bigger than the others.' I just kick and try to make every kick I possibly can."

Gostkowski was asked more about his mindset on field goals based on the situation in the game.

"It automatically forces you to focus. I try to keep the same focus whether it's a first quarter, second quarter, third quarter kick, because there have been games where I've made or missed kicks where we've ended up winning by three points, or that three points could have really helped [in a loss]," he said. "The dramatics of it might change when you look back at it, but during a game, I want to make every kick. If I were to miss a kick in the first quarter, I'd be just as upset if I missed one at the end of the game. I just try to stay even, keep my head low, do my job, and show up and work each day. Things work themselves out if you work hard and put your talent to good use."

Gostkowski, who has rebounded from misses against the Cardinals (42 yards) and Bills (42 & 49 yards), was aware of the NFL's overtime rules when he lined up for the 48-yard field goal. The Patriots had the first possession, and since they didn't score a touchdown, the Jets would be given a chance to possess the ball.

"It kind of stunk, because it would have been a lot more reacting, fun, if we could have celebrated a little differently," he said. "But a win's a win and it's not about me or being able to celebrate. It was fun to win."