MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — There was the overtime winner against Denver, a pair of 53-yard kicks in the fourth quarter to beat Houston, and another 50-yarder in a 1-point win over Cleveland. Stephen Gostkowski had been on quite a roll, but the Patriots kicker’s worst game of the season on Sunday played a part in a 24-20 loss to the Dolphins.
Gostkowski had just his third missed field goal of the season, but it was a fourth-quarter kickoff sent out of bounds that proved just as costly, if not more.
After the Patriots had taken a 20-17 lead with 4:07 left, Gostkowski’s ensuing kickoff flew wildly left, toward the Miami sideline. Instead of Gostkowski’s usual touchback — he had two on Sunday, and came into the game fourth in touchback percentage at 66.2 — and starting a key drive at their 20-yard-line, the Dolphins began the drive at the 40. Miami turned the good field position into the game-winning touchdown. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.