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Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski credits going sockless for change in fortunes

Call him Sockless Stephen Gostkowski.

The Tennessee Titans veteran kicker started his career in Nashville on a wobbly note, missing three field goals and a PAT in Week 1. Then the Super Bowl-winning kicker botched an extra point in Week 2.

Sunday, everything changed. The 36-year-old took his sock off and connected on six pivotal field goals in the Titans' 31-30 win over the Minnesota Vikings to keep Tennessee undefeated.

Gostkowski credited taking off the sock on his kicking foot for his sudden bout of accuracy after starting the season 3 of 6 on field goals.

"I practiced all summer without them," Gostkowski said, via Terry McCormick of 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."

Sans sock, Gostkowski made field goals from 30, 31, 39, 51, 54 and 55 yards on Sunday. He became the first player to make 3-plus FGs of 50-plus yards in a game since Justin Tucker in Week 12, 2016.

Gostkowski made the go-ahead 55-yard field goal with 1:44 remaining in the fourth quarter. The kicker is now 26 of 27 for his career on game-tying or lead-changing FG attempts in the fourth quarter or OT (second-best FG percent on such attempts since 1991, min. 20 attempts).

The Titans hope that Sockless Ghost can keep his refound accuracy. After spending last year missing and avoiding field goals, it'd be nice for coach Mike Vrabel to be able to trust his kicker to put points on the board during a postseason run.

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