Jay C. Brandriet
There’s no question Tom Brady was the driving force behind his team’s seven world championships.
It took a ton of help along the way.
His two Tampa Bay squads were loaded with talent.
I looked at 18 seasons of Patriots rosters.
I was searching for the most unheralded guys, over the full years Tommy played in New England.
I came up with 15 names.
Incredible offenses and Special Teams.
The outstanding defenders is what jumped off the page.
All of them got SOME credit throughout their journeys.
One player doesn’t seem tied to the dynasty at all.
Tom Brady’s most underrated teammate was a kicker.
No. Not THAT kicker.
Introducing, Stephen Gostkowski.
I know a Pats fan who says, “the name Gostkowski makes me sick.”
Time for me to pass out some Pepto.
You’ll be shocked at the career this guy had.
HIDDEN IN THE SHADOWS
The biggest reason Stephen was grossly underappreciated is, WHO he followed.
Adam Vinatieri is arguably the greatest kicker of all time.
Pro Football Hall of Fame All-2010’s Team.
4 X Pro Bowler
3 X All Pro
5 X AFC Special Teams Player of the Month.
2006 NFL All-Rookie Team.
BIG BOY NUMBERS
Stephen holds the NFL record for the most consecutive extra points made in a row.
He’s the 11th leading scorer in NFL history.
Led the league in points five times.
His 392 field goals, ranks 13th all time.
His accuracy (86.3%) is the 11th best mark.
Gostkowski competed in six Super Bowls.
He’s a three-time world champion.
He hit 89% of his playoff field goals attempts.
In his first post season as a ROOKIE, he was 8 for 8 kicking field goals.
In a Super Bowl run, he was 7 for 7.
My favorite number?
Stephen was 16 for 16 in AFC Championship games.
Ya, pretty good.
A TRUE PATRIOT
Gostkowski was named to the Patriots All Decade team of the 2010’s.
In the 60 plus year history of the franchise, only five men have played over 200 games.
Stephen played in 204.
He’s the leading scorer in Patriots history, and it’s not close.
A lot of this success is because of great teammates, coaches, and ownership.
Brady and Belichick did most of the heavy lifting.
Could a hater say ANY kicker COULD HAVE done what he did?
It wasn’t ANY kicker.
It was Stephen Gostkowski.
THE END RESULT
Normally I’d say Gostkowski has a “Hall of Fame type resume.”
I’m not going that far.
The Hall doesn’t get excited about kickers anyway.
Stephen is a New England Patriots legend.
Brady started with the best kicker, who was followed by a silent star.
TWO NFL players have ever scored 200 points in the playoffs.
One of them is Adam Vinatieri.
Guess who the other one is?
You guessed it.
Tom Brady’s most underrated teammate.
Jay C. Brandriet