DENVER – New kicker Stephen Gostkowski has avoided a disastrous debut with the Tennessee Titans in the moment of time.
The Titans escaped from Denver with a 16-14 victory Monday night over Gostkowski’s 25-yard game with 17 seconds remaining after missing four kicks, one in each quarter.
Gostkowski missed three field goals: wide left, wide right and a block, and missed one more point.
Gostkowski has never missed three field goals in a game during his 14 seasons in New England, where he won three Super Bowl rings, made four Pro Bowls and left this season off the all-time high. and Patriots.
Thursday he joined the Titans, who had the worst field goal unit in the NFL last year when their first four kickers teamed up to score just 44.4 percent of field goals (8 for 18 ).
Although the end result was to his liking, surely his debut was not.
The last Titans / Oilers kicker to miss three field goals and one more point in a game was Skip Butler against the Jets at the start of the 1977 season. And Gostkowski became the first kicker to miss. three field goals and a PAT in the same game since Mason Crosby missed four field goals and one PAT for the Packers against the Lions in 2018.
Gostkowski, who had made 87.4 percent of his kicks entering the game, a percentage that ranked fifth best in NFL history, missed a 47-yarder in the first quarter and Shelby Harris blocked his 43-yarder just before the break. Gostkowski’s 42-yarder in the third quarter was wide on the left and missed the PAT after Tennessee’s touchdown on Jonnu Smith’s catch by Ryan Tannehill in the fourth and -1 with 13:49 remaining.
Denver responded with a 75-yard drive, with Melvin Gordon taking in an outside yard, and Brandon McManus ’extra point put the Broncos 14-13 up with 9 minutes left.
The Broncos scored on their next two possessions and the Titans made up for it with a 12-play, 83-yard, scoring streak.
The teams got into fight 7 after an adventurous first half that included an expulsion, a goal line stand and Gostkowski’s sad debut four days after signing with the Titans. Gostkowski, 36, left New England with 1,775 points over 204 games.
Drew Lock threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Noah Fant after Gostkowski’s first mission, and the Titans tied it to Tannehill’s 1-yard shot at MyCole Pruitt after a Denver turnover.
Gordon, who signed a two-year, $ 16 million free agency deal, tossed the ball into Denver 23 on a hard hit by safety Kevin Byard, who has led the league with 17 interceptions since 2017 but had no never forced a fumble. Jeffrey Simmons recovered for Tennessee.
The Broncos failed to score on three tries from the Titans 1 in the second quarter. Lock shot a Nick Vannett wide open, Gordon was full without a win and Lock’s shovel pass to Jake Butt went a short shot from the goal line.
Butt was on the receiving end of Rashaan Evans ’punch that sent off the Titans linebacker.
There were no paying spectators, but about 500 guest players and coaches were in the stands as a sort of test for the Broncos ’next home game, against Tom Brady and Tampa Bay in two weeks, when 5,700 fans will be allowed in the 70,000 -Power Empower Field at Mile High.