Stephen Gostkowski’s redemption after four misses lifts Titans to 16-14 win over Broncos

USA TODAY Sports

On an otherwise completely forgettable night for Stephen Gostkowski, the newest kicker for the Tennessee Titans made the one kick that mattered most to lift his team to a win over the Denver Broncos on Monday night.

Gostkowski had missed four total kicks on the night as the Titans found themselves trailing the Broncos 14-13 inside the final minute of play. The lost 10 points saw the Titans needing a shaky Gostkowski to deliver a game-winning kick to avoid a loss to open their season. But Gostkowski responded and slammed home a 25-yard attempt with 17 seconds remaining to lift Tennessee to a 16-14 victory.

Gostkowski had missed field goal tries from 47 and 42 yards and had a third attempt from 44 yards blocked by Shelby Harris. He also missed an extra point in the fourth quarter prior to the game-winner. Gostkowski had never missed more than two kicks in any game in his 14 seasons with the New England Patriots before signing with the Titans last week.

Derrick Henry rushed for 116 yards on 31 carries for Tennessee and Corey Davis caught seven passes for 101 yards to lead the receiving corps. Ryan Tannehill was 29 of 43 for 249 yards and two touchdowns for the Titans.

Titans linebacker Rashaan Evans was ejected in the first quarter for throwing a punch at Broncos tight end Jake Butt. Two plays later, Drew Lock found tight end Noah Fant for a 9-yard touchdown as Denver took a 7-0 lead.

Then it was Denver’s turn for a mistake to help set up an opposing touchdown. Melvin Gordon lost a fumble after Titans safety Kevin Byard dislodged the football from his grasp. Jeffery Simmons recovered the loose ball for Tennessee at the Denver 23-yard line. MyCole Pruitt caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill five plays later to even the game at 7-7 after Gostkowski’s only successful kick of the evening prior to the game-winning boot.

Two straight Titans possessions would end in unsuccessful field goal attempts as they were unable to grab a share of the lead despite outplaying the Broncos. Tennessee would finally finish off a drive with Jonnu Smith catching a 1-yard touchdown from Tannehill to take a 13-7 lead. However, a Gostkowski missed extra point would keep the lead at just six.

That would prove significant as the Broncos responded with a scoring drive of their own to take the lead. Denver would cap a nine-play, 75-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run from Gordon to grab a 14-13 lead after a successful Brandon McManus extra point.

The Titans would get their final chance with 3:05 left to play. Tennessee would march 67 yards on 12 plays as the clock ticked away before giving Gostkowski the chance at the game-winner.

A.J. Bouye (shoulder) and Phillip Lindsay (foot) both left the game in the first half with injuries and would not return for Denver.

Lock completed 22 of 33 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown for Denver. Gordon rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown. Fant caught five passes for 81 yards and a touchdown.

17 responses to “Stephen Gostkowski’s redemption after four misses lifts Titans to 16-14 win over Broncos

  1. Maybe one day I’ll obtain the wisdom necessary to understand why Fangio didn’t use his timeouts when the Titans got into fg range on that game winning drive.

  2. That was spectacularly horrible clock management.

    If you’re counting on the FG being shanked, worst case scenario is you use your timeouts and get the ball back with around 1:10 to go and just need to kill that with a fantastic HB. Worst case of not using your timeouts is running out of time when you’re 15 yards from FG range. How he decided the Broncos best shot was by praying the field goal would be missed is…..yikes.

  3. Vic Fangio should be called out for not taking any timeouts down the stretch to stop the clock. The Broncos are lucky Tennesee didn’t run it instead of that fade attempt. They coulda pounded it in.

  4. Redemption? They would have never been in that position, except for him. They actually proved that they know how to win, and are a good team. To win on the opening day, in another teams stadium, and to overcome one of your own player’s sabotaging you at every turn. Only good teams overcome that hot mess.

  5. What was Fangio thinking late in the game not using those timeouts? Better to have 47 seconds with no timeouts than 17 seconds with three, especially if you hold them to a field goal. The Broncos pretty much won every category except the one that matters most: The scoreboard.

  6. People were saying Vic Fangio was/is some sort of Coaching God, keep this up, and he’ll be replaced come New Years

  7. Just when I thought he couldn’t possibly blow this game any worse, he goes and does a thing like this… and totally redeems himself!

  8. ok, so let me get this straight…..Opening Vegas line was Broncos -3 closing, was Titans -3. Tjen the Titans proceeds to

  9. ok, so let me get this straight…..Opening Vegas line was Broncos -3, closing was Titans -3. Then the Titans kicker proceeds to miss 3 FGs and Xtra Point but nails the game winnimg FG for the win but the loss according to the final spread……..Hmmmmmmm, smells a little fishy to me.

  10. The Broncos are the youngest offense in the NFL and it showed tonight. Some of Lock’s passes missed the mark and Shurmer called some terrible plays. That being said, for a team missing it’s undeniable leader (Von Miller) and 2 of the top 4 receiving options (Sutton and Hamler), the Broncos only lost by 2 points. That’s the lesson they should take from this game. The Broncos defense looked good, especially the secondary. If anything, Titans fans should be worried. The Titan’s offense was flat and looked terrible. A Broncos offense with a QB that had 5 career starts, new receivers, and a new OC nearly beat them. That should scare Titan fans a little.

  11. Belichick is very good at knowing when guys have had it. He seems to toss them on the scrap heap at precisely the right time.

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