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Special teams another strong component for a Patriots win

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  December 1, 2013 05:11 PM

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HOUSTON -- Stephen Gostowski may have suffered, in the grand scheme of things, a small disappointment.

The eight-year kicker missed a 55-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter wide right, snapping a streak of 21 straight made field goals for the veteran. Had he made it, the field goal would've been the longest of his career. He certainly had the distance, but the trajectory was off.

But the missed attempt was a matter that needed shrugging off because he would get other opportunities. Gostkowski kicked two 53-yard field goals, tied for the second longest in his career, to tie the Texans in the fourth quarter and take the lead with 3:15 remaining, 34-31.

It was the second straight week in which he kicked the eventual game-winner and the fifth game-winning field goal of his career.

"Yeah, it's just crazy how games can play out," Gostkowski said. "It's nice to get opportunities to get long kicks in good weather. It's tough to make kicks at that distance in Foxborough, so we woul expect to be called out there for a couple of 53, 55 yard field goals.

"So, just to do it in the fourth quarter when the team may be a little tired makes it feel a little bit special after the fact. But during the fact, I'm just trying to go out there and make the field goal. That's what I tried to do on the first one. I missed it a little bit, regrouped myself and told myself that I've hit more kicks than I've missed in this league. Then with the next one, if you take one kick at a time, then you're going to go out there and nail it. That's been the situation with two games and you've got to go out there and make the kick. I felt that if I take that approach, I'll be successful."

Gostkowski is now 28 of 30 on the season, tying a career-high 54-yarder against the New Orleans Saints.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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