Around the NFL this past holiday weekend...
In New England, the Patriots rallied for 27-24 win over the Dolphins. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski - who has just put the teams first points on the board early in the third quarter with a 45 yard field goal - also came up big in the subsequent kickoff. Dolphins returner Clyde Gates was on his way to the endzone, but Gostkowski tripped him up.
"I got a hand on his foot and luckily he went down. The few times I have to step up to make a play, that’s what I try to do. I got lucky.... It was a big play and it feels even more rewarding since we made them turn the ball over right after that and ended up winning the game. I guess that [tackle] was my Christmas present."
In Kansas City, the disturbing trend of blocked field goals continued. Well, disturbing to the kicking teams, because the defending teams have certainly been pleased with the blocks. On the last play of the first half, Raiders DT Richard Seymour blocked a 49 yard field goal attempt by Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop. Then on the last play of the fourth quarter with the game tied, it was déjà vu. Another 49 yard attempt by Succop. Another block by Seymour. That sent the game to overtime, where Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski quickly ended things with a 36 yard field goal, giving Oakland a 16-13 win.
"It felt good, what do you want me to say?... I mean, guys did a good job protecting. Shane [Lechler] put it down, [Jon] Condo centered the ball and it went through."
In Seattle, 49ers kicker David Akers has set the NFL record for most field goals in one season. He has now made 42 field goals (with one game remaining), breaking the former mark of 40 set by Neil Rackers. His four field goals this week were part of San Francisco's rally in their 19-17 win over the Seahawks.
“When you have adversity and you’re able to respond, I think that’s what you’re talking about as far as seeing a championship team develop.”