Gostkowski on his ups and downs

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots placekicker Stephen Gostkowski matched his career high for missed field goals in a season (6) last Sunday in Miami when he pushed a 49-yard field goal attempt wide right. The last time Gostkowski missed six field goals in a season was his 2006 rookie season (20-of-26).

Catching up with Gostkowski on Saturday, one thing became clear: He's not lacking confidence.

"I'm never happy when I screw up, or have bad games, but those do happen," he said. "I feel like there have been good kicks mixed in with a couple inconsistencies, but nothing that's getting me down.

"There are still four games left; there is a lot of football left. I'm trying my best, working as hard as I can, being professional, and I'm OK with that. If I was going out there and not giving it my all, and then screwed up, it would be more upsetting."

Gostkowski is 24-of-30 on the season.

Of the misses, a 42-yarder at the end of a 20-18 loss to the Cardinals on Sept. 16 was notable. His other misses this season came from 49, 42, 36, 39 and 49 yards.

On the opposite side of the ledger, Gostkowski made two huge kicks in a 29-26 overtime win over the Jets on Oct. 21, hitting from 43 yards at end of regulation and 48 yards on the first possession of overtime. He's also been crushing the ball on kickoffs, with 43 touchbacks (third in the NFL).

Asked how he would characterize his season, Gostkowski said: "I try not to do a complete characterization until it's all said and done. There have been some ups and downs to the season, but the main thing is that we won the AFC East and have the chance to play a big game here this week. I'll look back on it afterwards."

Monday's game against the Texans features placekickers who once shared the same locker room. Shayne Graham (Texans) filled in for Gostkowski in 2010 when Gostkowski missed the second half of the season with a torn quad.

Gostkowski said he made a conscious effort to give Graham space that season, because he didn't want to be a distraction.

The two figure to connect again before Monday's game.

"Shayne is a super nice guy, and obviously a very accurate kicker," Gostkowski said. "He did a very good job when he was here."