NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Coaches say all the time, every year is a new year and what you did last season doesn’t have any impact on what you do this season.
For the Titans, a team who made a run to the AFC Championship game, they hope for some carry-over, but there is one aspect of their game they’d be happy to leave in 2019 – kicking.
Tennessee was far and away the worst team in the NFL in field goal percentage last season, finishing below 50 percent of field goals made. Fast forward to their 2020 season opener, and the team would have happily taken that average.
In his Titans debut, Stephen Gostkowski went 1 of 4 with a missed extra point. It was the three-time Super Bowl champion’s worst kicking performance in a single game. In fact, he missed more kicks in a single game than he did in entire seasons. Gostkowski has missed four or fewer kicks – field goals and extra points combined – in just six different seasons in his 14-year NFL career.
His first misses Monday night came from 47, 44 and 42 yards out. Gostkowski’s shot for redemption came with 17 seconds left on the game clock and was a chip-shot from 25 yards out. Seven yards closer than an extra point kick.
Following the worst game of his career, the 36-year-old pulled a pro move and spoke with the media via Zoom.
“You win and lose as a team. Obviously, in a position like mine, everyone sees it when you screw up,” he said. “That’s why I was grateful for the opportunity at the end. The guys deserved to win. We’re all pros here, we’ve all had our days but the kicking position, if you miss a couple kicks, the camera follows you around. It can get to be a lonely spot but you just need to keep your head high and keep on going.”
Gostkowski is on a 1-year deal with the Titans worth up to $2 million with $500,000 guaranteed at signing. Although by all indications he lives to kick another day, Tennessee would stand to lose $500,000 by cutting him.
Also, Mike Vrabel, when asked about keeping two kickers on the active roster by elevating rookie Tucker McCann from the practice squad, he didn’t rule it out.