FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a fourth-quarter 27-yard field goal that could have given the Vikings a dramatic victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, few could understand the emotions as well as a fellow kicker, like Stephen Gostkowski of the New England Patriots.
"It's unfortunate. Personally, I feel really bad for Blair," Gostkowski said Monday as the Patriots begin preparations for Saturday's divisional round game against the Kansas City Chiefs. "Professionally, it's part of the game. It's something that happens. We've all been there. I've seen the best of the best miss kicks -- miss big kicks, miss short kicks. It happens to everybody. Sometimes just timing is very unfortunate.
"I was at least proud of the way he stood up there and took it on his shoulders. You've got to be able to take the good and the bad. He was man enough to do that. And he didn't succeed on the field, but he handled himself with class after the game, which at least he can hang his head on that."
Gostkowski didn't want to get into mechanics of the snap, hold and kick, such as where kickers prefer the laces.
"Everyone is going to have their different opinion. All I know is we work to do the best that we can to get the situation perfect, and all I know is what we've done here," he said.
"Ryan [Allen] is the best holder in the league. Joe Cardona has done a great job snapping. They put me in position to put a good swing on the ball every time. Obviously there are times where it's not perfect and you have to make do with what you get and you only have a split second to react. And sometimes you're fortunate and you can get away with it, and sometimes you don't. You never really know until you get in that situation. I mean, you see the ball for a split second. Sometimes it can throw you off. Sometimes it doesn't. It just kind of depends on where you're at in that moment."