Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell, who also mans the interior of the field-goal block unit, said his team generated significant pressure on Stephen Gostkowski's first four field-goal attempts, all of which the New England Patriots kicker made.
But, Campbell believes, knowing similar pressure was coming -- and the nerves of the situation -- were factors in Gostkowski missing the potential game-winning field-goal try wide left Sunday in the Cardinals' 20-18 upset.
"I love being inside because I'm 6-foot-8 and we'd gotten good push all game," Campbell said in a telephone interview before he flew back to Arizona. "We got good push again. We went after it as hard as we could. I think that had something to do with him pushing it to the left."
As important as the missed kick was to the Cardinals improving to a surprising 2-0, so was forcing repeated field-goal attempts, Campbell said. The Patriots scored five times, but four of those were field goals.
"That was so huge for us because you know how great Tom Brady is, and to keep him out of the end zone as much as we did was so huge," said Campbell, who has blocked six field goals in his NFL career, according to the Cardinals. "To hold them to three (points) was so important."
As for Gostkowski's wayward kick, it capped a sequence of bizarre events that started unfavorably for Arizona, when running back Ryan Williams fumbled at the Cardinals' 30-yard line with 1:01 remaining. That was followed by Patriots running back Danny Woodhead scoring an apparent 30-yard touchdown that was negated by a holding penalty.
"That hurt me when Woodhead got into the end zone because it was crazy we got them the ball back," Campbell said. "When I saw the flag came out, I knew we had a chance. That was the critical call of the game."
"That's why you never want the game coming down to kickers," Campbell said.
Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89.