FOXBOROUGH — Nick Folk’s teammates automatically rack up 3 points on the board when they see the veteran kicker trot onto the field.
“When Nick lines up, we think he’s made it,’’ Devin McCourty said matter of factly after Folk hit five field goals in Sunday’s 36-13 win over the Titans at Gillette Stadium. “He’s as consistent as anyone on this team.’’
With Stephen Gostkowski, the Patriots all-time leading scorer and the man whom Folk succeeded, in the stands watching with the fans, the 14-year veteran upped his league-leading total to 31 field goals.
Folk, whom teammates call “Steady Eddie,” hit from 22, 37, 44, 28, and 52 yards. He had one miss (from 53 yards) and has connected on at least four field goals in a game five times in 2021.
“We’ve talked about it a bunch of times this year. Really consistent. Does a great job in all areas every week,’’ said Bill Belichick. “You can really count on him and he’s delivered for us time after time. Really fortunate to have him [and] his consistency. Not easy kicking out there as we saw on the other side.” [Tennessee’s Randy Bullock missed a PAT and a 44-yard field goal attempt.]
Folk’s 52-yarder gave him five connections from 50-plus yards this season, equaling the franchise mark set by Gostkowski in 2013.
This is the fourth time in Folk’s career he has hit at least 30 field goals in a season (2010, 2013, 2014).
Bourne had a little help
Kendrick Bourne had his breakout game as a Patriot, with five receptions for 61 yards and a pair of scores, the latter of which came on a beautiful 41-yard third-quarter reception in which he tiptoed down the right sideline.
Credit Jakobi Meyers with helping his teammate avoid getting shoved out of bounds en route to the end zone.
“I definitely thought I was going to get hit. Shout out to Jakobi, with a great block, that made the whole play,’’ Bourne said. “He’s been doing that his whole career. He caught a really good block there. Giving that extra effort really spurred me.
“It was a great play call by Josh [McDaniels], Mac [Jones] had the decision to go either side, and we got the look we wanted. Ran a good route and he threw a good ball.”
Titans coach Mike Vrabel had said earlier in the week that the Patriots have “probably the best blocking receivers in the league,” and Bourne confirmed that part of their respective games is a key point of emphasis.
“All of us emphasize blocking, spurring our running backs,’’ Bourne said. “Once we get to the second level, you can just mess up the safety’s course, his tackling angle. It’s just tougher for them.
“I knew that if I just gave him space, he would make a play,’’ said Meyers, who threw what he termed a “safety block” with his shoulder on safety Amani Hooker. “I knew I couldn’t hit him hard, or they would throw a flag. Just get [Bourne] to the next level and let him do his magic.’’
McCourty ties Hannah
McCourty started his 183d game, tied with John Hannah for third on the franchise’s all-time list behind Tom Brady (283) and Bruce Armstrong (212) … Matthew Slater became the third Patriots player to play in 100 regular-season games at Gillette, joining Brady (134) and Gostkowski (102) … Matthew Judon had one sack and has a career-high 11½ … Cody Davis registered his team-leading 10th special teams tackle … Gunner Olszewski’s 37-yard kickoff return was the longest of his career … The Patriots have 15 winning streaks of at least six games since 2001 … There were no surprises among the Patriots inactives as the club, despite having 11 players listed as doubtful, entered the game in relative good health, comparatively speaking. Running back J.J. Taylor, tight end Devin Asiasi, quarterback Jarrett Stidham, offensive lineman Yasir Durant, and linebacker Ronnie Perkins were inactive … Revolution keeper Matt Turner went out for the coin flip with the Patriots captains.
Scott Thurston of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
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