The Cardinals came into New England today as one of the largest underdogs this week and shocked Patriots fans the world over with a hard fought 20-18 victory. New England had a shot at the end to win it with a fairly standard field goal from 42 yards out, but it was not to be as Stephen Gostkowski pushed the kick wide left and the Cardinals escaped with a crucial road win.
After the game, several of Arizona’s players indicated fear of their field goal block team played a major role in the usually reliable Gostkowski missing the kick.
“We put a lot of pressure on a lot of field goal teams. I think he was a little scared of us, honestly, that is why he pushed it left.”
– Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson
“He is a kicker. It is his job to make the field goal and he missed the field goal. We have a really good field goal block team and I think that may have been in the back of his mind. You never know.”
– Cardinals wide receiver Andre Roberts
Obviously Gostkowski isn’t going to come out and confirm Arizona’s assertion that he was afraid of having the kick blocked and missed it as a result, but the possibility exists that the thought may have crossed his mind at some point and could have caused Gostkowski’s focus to slip up just enough to push the kick farther than he wanted.
For their part, the Patriots have rallied around their kicker and shown support for him going forward. Given Gostkowski’s history in pressure situations, he should be able to rebound just fine.
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