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Saturday, February 4, 2012
MacMullan on Gostkowski

By Mike Reiss

If Super Bowl XLVI comes down to a game-winning field goal, will kicker Stephen Gostkowski come through?

In a piece now posted on ESPNBoston.com, columnist Jackie MacMullan writes on the topic.
The truth is this: While Gostkowski has proved to be the most accurate kicker in Patriots history and only the second player in NFL history to score 500 points or more in his first four seasons, he simply has not been afforded the opportunity to make many clutch kicks for his team.

In six seasons with the club, Gostkowski has kicked only two game-winning field goals. The first was in his rookie season, on Jan. 14, 2007, a 31-yard field goal with 1:10 left to play that enabled the Patriots to upend the San Diego Chargers and advance to the AFC Championship Game.

The second was a 35-yard overtime kick against the Ravens in October 2010 that led to a 23-20 Patriots victory. Gostkowski also kicked a 24-yarder with less than two minutes left in regulation of that game to force OT.

He hasn't missed critical late-game field goals; that hasn't been the issue. The more curious question is why he hasn't been in position more times to make a difference.

To read MacMullan's piece, CLICK HERE.