NFL

The Patriots’ Biggest Weakness In 2016

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Following Sunday’s win over the Ben Roethlisberger-less Pittsburgh Steelers, the New England Patriots look like true powerhouses in not just the AFC but in all of the NFL. They’re 5-1 and Tom Brady is playing as well as any quarterback, throwing eight touchdown passes and no interceptions in three games.But for as well as the Patriots have played, they do have a growing problem that they’re not used to facing: a bad kicker.

Stephen Gostkowski is one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history. Coming into this season, he hadn’t missed an extra point since 2006. In 2016, he’s already missed two extra points and three field goals, dropping his overall make rate this year to 84.8 percent. By comparison, his career mark is 94.6 percent. Gostkowski won’t offer any insight on the reason for the struggles, but Sunday’s missed extra point continued a concerning trend.

“I’m not scared to screw up. I’ve screwed up plenty of times in my career. It’s kind of piling on right now,” Gostkowski said, via the Providence Journal. “In my position, you only get so many opportunities ,and that’s part of it mentally, taking advantage of the opportunities you get. I know that’s the deal coming in. News flash, this is my 11th year doing it. Right now, I just stink and I need to figure out how to get better.”

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