the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, October 22, 2012

NFL Week Seven: Overtimers - Stephen Gostkowski & Sebastian Janikowski

Both of yesterday afternoon's late games were decided in overtime with a field goal by the home team. In New England, the visiting Jets had taken a three point lead on a pair of Nick Folk field goals late in the fourth quarter. Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski tied the game with a 43 yarder as time expired. Then in overtime he kicker a 48 yarder for the winning points (final score: 29-26). It was a measure of redemption, or whatever similar term you prefer, as he had missed his previous game wining opportunity earlier in the season. His co-specialist and holder, punter Zoltan Mesko, commented afterward:
"It’s a good feeling and it’s probably the best feeling in the house for the guy next to me, Stephen. [I] never lost hope [in him]. He’s the guy we trust and he’s like a brother to me because we’re together all the time....
I mean we all as athletes have to have, I guess the word of the year is ‘amnesia’. I personally have this 24-hour period where I lick my wounds and then we move on and we learn from our mistakes."
In Oakland, the Raiders also completed their rally in overtime. Sebastian Janikowski hit a 40 yarder, his fourth field goal of the day, to give them a 26-23 win over Jacksonville. He had an earlier opportunity to win the game and break his co-owned NFL record for longest field goal, but came up short on a 64 yard attempt on the final play of regulation. As is oft the case, he did not speak to the media afterward. Of the players and coaches that did, nearly all of them referenced the sloppy game - including quarterback Carson Palmer:
"An ugly win is better than a pretty loss. I know that. I'm just proud of the way we fought because it wasn't pretty. We did not play up to our standard and play the way we're coached. But we hung in there and defense played great giving us the ball back. It's just good to get out of here with a win."

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