Has Nick Folk been the New England Patriots' best player in 2021?
At the very least, the veteran kicker is the only Patriot to earn NFL recognition this season for his strong play. Folk was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week on Wednesday after making all four of his field goal attempts -- including a 21-yard game-winner with 15 seconds remaining -- in New England's 25-22 victory over the Houston Texans.
Folk connected on field goals of 52, 52, 32 and 21 yards, keeping the Patriots in the game before their eventual comeback win. The 36-year-old is just the second kicker in Patriots history with two 50-yard field goals in one game. Stephen Gostkowski accomplished the feat three times with the Patriots, most recently in 2017.
Folk's 52-yarders were his longest in a Patriots uniform, as well. The 14-year veteran has made 93.3% of his kicks this season (14 of 15), which is on pace for his most accurate year as a pro.
Folk's lone miss was a 56-yard attempt that would have defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4. But he clearly wasn't rattled by that blemish, as he explained via a great "Top Gun" reference after Sunday's game.
"I guess you could kind of look at it a little bit [like] 'Top Gun' in here -- when Maverick loses Goose and they want to get him back in the saddle pretty quick," Folk said, as seen in the video above. "That's me. I want to get back out there and help the team as best as I can."
Folk did just that by helping the Patriots survive the Texans in Houston and improve to 2-3.