15 most important Patriots for 2019: No. 14, Stephen Gostkowski

With the Patriots off until training camp, we’re having a series featuring the 15 most important Patriots players for the upcoming season. The countdown will continue for the next several weeks

No. 14: Stephen Gostkowski 

Position: Kicker

2018 stats: 27-for-32 on field goals, 49-for-50 on extra points

Why he’s No. 14: It took awhile for Gostkowski to re-sign with the Patriots this offseason as he was a free agent, but ultimately he signed a two-year deal and it seems like he will now spend his entire NFL career in New England. While Gostkowski missed five kicks last year, all of them were 40 yards or longer. He also excels on kickoffs when it comes to doing what the team asks whether it is kicking it out of the end zone, or angling his kicks inside the 10-yard line. The biggest issue with Gostkowski is he's missed a number of kicks in the playoffs of late. He's missed a kick in the postseason for four straight years, including a 46-yarder in Super Bowl LIII.

Any good team needs a kicker they can depend on to make a clutch kick late in a game, or a long field goal when a drive stalls, which is why he's included in this list. Gostkowski is still considered one of the best kickers in the game and has made a ton of long kicks, as well as pinning opponents deep in their own end at the biggest of moments. This is why he's so important. If the kicker misses a number of kicks in the regular season, there's a good chance it impacts the Patriots' overall record. While some don't believe this is an important position, his success is vital to the overall success of the team.

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