Stephen Gostkowski began hearing the reports of his demise after missing his first three field goal attempts in the Titans' season-opener against the Broncos. Since that stretch, Gostkowski, a four-time Pro Bowl kicker, has made all nine of his field goal attempts, including three straight game-winning kicks after booting a 55-yarder during Sunday's 31-30 victory over the Vikings. That performance earned him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after making all six of his field goal attempts.
Gostkowski attributes some of his recent success to his decision to ditch the sock on his kicking foot after his early Week 1 struggles.
"I practiced all summer without them," Gostkowski said, via Titan Insider. "It's a little like baseball. When you're in a slump you want to try something else and you get on a roll. I think my experience playing multiple sports kind of helps deal with a little bit of a bind. In a sport like baseball, you strike out or get embarrassed, you turn the page. ... We're only three games in and I've got a long way to go and I've a lot of work to do, but I'm excited to help the Titans be 3-0."
Gostkowski's success has come after Titans coach Mike Vrabel gave him a vote of confidence following his kicker's rocky start to the season.
"Well, I think for a guy that's a career 87% field-goal kicker, who's done it as long as he is, I think some of those corrections are gonna be on him," head coach Mike Vrabel told reporters after the Titans' season-opener. "But it's also going to be about us and the operation and the ability for us to protect and the ability to make everything around him better and have a lot of faith and confidence in Stephen moving forward."
The Titans' upcoming game against the Steelers -- whenever it's played -- will feature two of the league's top kickers. While he didn't ditch his sock after enduring his own struggles in 2018, Pittsburgh kicker Chris Boswell has returned to the form that saw him earn Pro Bowl honors in 2017. Since the start of last season, Boswell has connected on all but two of his 36 field goal attempts. He's made all five his field goal attempts this season, which is one of the reasons why the Steelers are also 3-0 heading into their upcoming game against the Titans.