FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced today that K Stephen Gostkowski has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week by the National Football League for his performance in the Patriots' 27-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins last Sunday. It is the first time that Gostkowski has earned the honor. He was named Special Teams Player of the Month for October last season.
Gostkowski is the first New England player to earn the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honor since Chris Hanson earned the award for his performance in Week 17 of the 2008 season in the Patriots shutout win over Buffalo when he averaged 45 yards per punt while facing 60 MPH winds.
Gostkowski was a perfect four-of-four on field goals against Miami (30, 38, 34 and 40 yards), tying his career high with four successful kicks in a game. Gostkowski also had four field goals against Atlanta on Sept. 27 and had four successful boots in two games in 2008 (at N.Y. Jets on 9/14/08 and vs. Arizona on 12/21/08). In addition, Gostkowski kicked three of his six kickoffs into the end zone with two going for touchbacks to help limit Miami's dangerous kickoff returner Ted Ginn, Jr.
With the four field goals against Miami , Gostkowski raised his career total to 94 field goals, passing Tony Franklin (93 from 1984-87) and moving into fourth place on the Patriots' all-time field goals list.
Gostkowski is second in the NFL with 73 points and is on track to finish the season with 146 points. Last season, he had an NFL-best 148 points.
It is the fourth time in 2009, and the third straight game, that the Patriots have been honored with an AFC Player of the Week award. QB Tom Brady was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week following Week 1 and Week 6. S Brandon Meriweather was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week following Week 7. Brady was also named Offensive Player of the Month for October.