Tennessee Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski got off to a rough start this season. Over the first two games he was 3-for-6 on field goals, and while the Titans managed to win both games, a 50 percent field goal success rate just isn’t going to cut it on a team with playoff aspirations.
Gostkowski needed to rediscover the accuracy that had served him so well during his 14 years with the New England Patriots. On Sunday he did, making all six field goals against the Minnesota Vikings and helping the Titans to a 31-30 win and an undefeated record.
So how did Gostkowski do it after two weeks of middling success? He simply took off his socks.
No socks, no problem
After Sunday’s game, Gostkowski told the media that taking off his socks while wearing his kicking shoes got him back into the groove.
“I practiced all summer without them,” Gostkowski said, via Titans Insider. “It's a little like baseball. When you're in a slump you want to try something else and you get on a roll. I think my experience playing multiple sports kind of helps deal with a little bit of a bind. In a sport like baseball, you strike out or get embarrassed, you turn the page. ...We're only three games in and I've got a long way to go and I've a lot of work to do, but I'm excited to help the Titans be 3-0.”
He really did help the Titans. Every single one of Gostkowski’s field goals, plus the one extra point after a touchdown, were absolutely vital to the Titans’ win on Sunday. Without even one of them, they’d likely be facing a 2-1 record.
Close wins have been a theme with the Titans this season. They won their Week 1 game against the Denver Broncos by two points. They won their Week 2 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars by three points. And their most recent win was by just one point.
If that continues for the Titans, they’ll be depending on Gostkowski’s accuracy to help move them across the finish line every week. Lucky for the Titans, Gostkowski’s got it figured out.
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