For years, Stephen Gostkowski has been one of the premier kickers in the NFL, known for his ability to nail long field goals. But time could soon be running out for the 36-year-old.
Gostkowski missed a 44-yard attempt in the Titans’ 34-17 loss to the AFC South-rival Colts on “Thursday Night Football.” It was his eighth miss in just nine games; that’s already the most he has missed in a season. He is at a career-worst 60 percent (12 for 20) on field goal tries for the year, even after factoring in a 6-for-6 performance in the Titans’ 31-30 victory over the Vikings in Week 3.
Fans in Tennessee are starting to lose patience after seeing their team lose three of its last four games.
Asked about Gostkowski’s continuing struggles, Titans coach Mike Vrabel said “We have to evaluate everything we do. We all have jobs to do, and we have to do them better.”
What’s so strange about Gostkowski’s performance is that he’s still a phenomenal long-ball kicker. He’s 6 of 7 from 50-plus yards this season, including a 50-yarder in the first half against the Colts. But his inconsistency on short and intermediate kicks has made him a liability. He’s 2 of 7 from 40-49 yards, 3 of 4 from 30-39 yards and 1 of 2 from 20-29 yards. Gostkowski has been perfect on PATs after missing one in each of the first two games.
If Vrabel is locked in on keeping Gostkowski, then it might be worth it to find a kicker who’s more accurate in the short game and save Gostkowski for deep kicks.
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