New England Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski kicks for record in rarified air

By The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 20, 2017 at 12:17 AM
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Stephen Gostkowski got a rare chance and the rare air gave him a boost.

After the Oakland Raiders' Seth Roberts turned the ball over at the New England 3, the Patriots got Gostkowski in position to try a 62-yard field goal.

Kicking in an altitude 7,200 feet above sea level, almost 2,000 feet higher than Denver, Gostkowski drilled it, with plenty to spare.

"It was cool to get the opportunity," Gostkowski said after kicking the longest field goal in franchise history.

On the play before the kick, tight end Rob Gronkowski caught a Tom Brady pass, the 10-yard gain setting things up with five seconds left in the half.

"I think every time I've had a long kick, I think Gronk makes the catch right beforehand, so I think it's a nice little Polish connection," Gostkowski said.

It was the first of four Gostkowski field goals to go with three extra points on the day. That gave him 1,560 career points, moving him past Matt Bryant into the NFL's all-time top 20.

He shattered his own franchise record with the 62-yarder, four yards greater than his kick earlier this season. He also came within two yards of equaling Matt Prater's NFL record field goal.

Gostkowski is the only New England kicker with multiple 50-yarders in the same game -- and he did it for the third time on Sunday.

Here are some numbers out of Sunday's New England victory:

--At 8-2, the Patriots have ensured at least a .500 record for the 17th straight season. That's tied with the Cleveland Browns (1957-73) for the second-longest streak ever. The Dallas Cowboys (1965-85) hold the record at 21.

--Brady is 9-1 lifetime in his career against Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, with 24 touchdowns and one interception in those 10 games.

--The Raiders still don't have an interception this season.

--Brady has thrown at least three touchdown passes in three international games, all victories. He is the sixth quarterback to throw a touchdown in three countries.

--Brett Favre has the most 3,000-yard passing seasons, 18, while Peyton Manning has 16 and Brady 15.

--Brady has 50 touchdown passes and four interceptions in 22 games since returning from his DeflateGate suspension.

--The Patriots have won five straight games against the Raiders, who last defeated New England in 2002.

--In addition to moving into sole possession of third place on the NFL's all-time coaching wins list, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick moved into a tie with Green Bay's Curly Lambeau for fourth place on the wins-with-one-team list, with 209.

--Brandin Cooks had catches of 52 and 64 yards, further entrenching himself as Brady's long man.

--Oakland's Derek Carr had three straight 300-yard passing games, but was limited to 237 Sunday.

Carr knows what's going on with his team, which dropped to 4-6 with an embarrassing loss.

"I stood in that huddle, down 30, with my guys. Everyone hurt, everyone mad," he said. "Nothing changes for us. We are who we are. We're not gonna turn on each other. We're not gonna turn on anything about what we do."

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