Stephen Gostkowski overcame a nightmare of a game to kick the winning field goal from 25 yards out with 17 seconds left on Monday, giving the Tennessee Titans a 16-14 victory.
Gostkowski's meltdown almost cost the Titans the season opener against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. Tennessee's win over the host Broncos was much closer than it should have been, as Gostkowski missed three field goals and an extra point, leaving 10 points on the board.
"It's tough. It's part of the position. It's a very fickle position," he said. "It's definitely an opportunity I didn't deserve, but grateful that I got it for the team and the guys that went out there and busted their butt. I really put them in a tough spot."
Entering the game, the 15th-year veteran had never missed three field goals in one game. Gostkowski was off the mark from 47 and 42 yards and saw a 44-yard attempt blocked. He has now missed an extra point attempt in four consecutive games.
"You don't always get that lucky to get a chance to redeem yourself," Gostkowski said. "But I'm just happy that the guys got to celebrate. I'm disappointed in myself and embarrassed and frustrated, but at the end of the day, we won, and luckily, guys are happy going home."
Gostkowski joined former Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey, who is now with the Cleveland Browns, as the only kickers in the past 10 seasons to miss four kicks in a win.
While with the Patriots last season, Gostkowski made seven of eight field goal attempts before being placed on injured reserve in October. The Patriots released Gostkowski in March. The 36-year-old kicker underwent hip surgery during the offseason and was picked up by the Titans.
Tennessee signed Gostkowski to a one-year, $2.75 million deal in a move that was supposed to shore up its kicking game. To make room for Gostkowski, the Titans released kicker Greg Joseph 11 days before the season opener.
"I just got here, and I come out here and play like that," Gostkowski said. "For the guys to still support me and still have my back was pretty cool. And that's the cool thing about team sports: You win and lose as a team. Obviously, a position like mine, everybody sees it when you screw up. That's why I was grateful for the opportunity at the end -- 'cause the guys deserve to win."
Per ESPN Stats & Information research, the Titans are 1-for-9 on field goal attempts in their past nine regular-season games. Tennessee made only 44.4% of its field goal attempts last season, significantly worse than the next team (Jets, 67.9%). It was the only time since 2001 that a team made fewer than 60% of its field goal attempts.