By Tanya Ray Fox
With all the fawning over Tom Brady’s late-game heroics in an extraordinary shootout with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, it appears we’ve forgotten who it was that actually scored the game-winning points. ‘Twas not St. Thomas of Foxborough.
Stephen Gostkowski was the player that the New England Patriots turned to with the crucial game on the line. With plenty of time to try to score a touchdown, they chose instead to let the game clock wind down to :03 and hand the ball over to their veteran kicker, who punched it in for 28-yards and the victory.
Gostkowski played brilliantly throughout the game, making all five of his field goal attempts – including a monumental 50-yarder with 3:15 left in the game to extend their lead to seven points. He also made all four extra point kicks, accounting for 19 of the Patriots 43 points in a game in which they never punted.
When asked about the decision to entrust Gostkowski with a 50-yard kick as the game hung in the balance, coach Bill Belichick astutely observed that his kicker’s contributions are often overlooked — inadvertently remind us that he was actually the hero of the...