Tennessee Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski had what can be best described as a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad Monday night. That is, until he hit the game-winning field goal. The former New England Patriot is coming off hip surgery and struggled in his performance against the Denver Broncos. The 36-year-old missed a 47-yarder in the first quarter, had a 44-yarder blocked in the second, and missed from 42-yards in the third quarter, marking the first time he ever missed three field goals in one game. He also missed an extra point.

After a brutal evening like that, it was only fitting that the game came down to a Gostkowski kick. He redeemed himself and made a 25-yard field goal with 17 seconds left to give the Titans a 16-14 win.

As it turns out, there may have been a specific reason No. 3 was off his game.

“When I’ve been practicing in the summer, I practiced without socks all summer and then I started putting ’em on,” Gostkoswki said, noting a change in technique he made at the end of the game.

Before his game-winning kick, the 15-year veteran was seen with his shoe and sock off on the sideline. Gostkoswki’s not superstitious, but he’s a little stitious.

“I mean, I would’ve taken my pants off to make that last kick, to try something different,” the kicker joked. “I wasn’t doing very well, I had to switch something up, maybe just for mental sake. You know, just kind of a weird quirk I guess.”

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel added that, despite how the rest of the night looked, he had confidence in his kicker when it came down to winning the game.

“It’s like sitting there and being like, well it’s been red 10 times on roulette so I’m gonna bet black because it’s been red 10 times and it doesn’t work that way,” he said. “I just felt like we were gonna be able to make the field goal and that was the right play. That’s the proper way to approach it and everybody did their job on the last one.”

Gostkowski didn’t make it through the season with the Patriots last year due to injury and after last night’s performance it’s hard to be sure on his fate for this year. He’s had five seasons with less than four field goals missed total and was once one of the most consistent kickers in the league.

The 1-0 Titans will host the 1-0 Jacksonville Jaguars next week. Hopefully for No. 3’s sake, he’ll go without a sock for the whole game.


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