Robbie Gould and his kicking crew come through in the wind, slop
BY MARK POTASH Staff Reporter November 17, 2013 9:55PM
Robbie Gould is used to inclement conditions. But not quite like this.
‘‘[The wind] was pretty bad,’’ Gould said. ‘‘It was swirling a lot more than we’re used to. Today was definitely one of the more difficult days to manage.’’
As he often does, Gould and his kicking team found a way Sunday, converting a game-winning 38-yard field-goal attempt that was anything but routine to give the Bears a 23-20 overtime victory against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens at Soldier Field.
That coach Marc Trestman put the field-goal unit in on third-and-eight from the Ravens’ 20 — to allow for a possible botched snap — tells you how precarious any attempt would be. Backup long snapper Jeremy Cain’s snap was true. Adam Podlesh’s hold was solid. And Gould’s kick sailed just inside the right upright. Close was good enough.
‘‘You know what? They don’t put close in the box score,’’ joked Gould, the third-most-accurate field-goal kicker in NFL history coming into the game (86.2 percent).
‘‘I hit it right where I wanted to hit it. The wind was definitely moving a lot more toward the end of the game. I hit it good. When it left my foot I thought it was good. I played it right where I wanted to. Thank God I gave myself a couple of inches.’’
Gould said the wind ‘‘changed pretty drastically’’ after the storms came through. The soggy, muddy field made it tough on everybody.
‘‘We were all slipping around,’’ Bears offensive tackle Kyle Long said. “You noticed a lot of bodies on the ground. [There’s] a lot of mud all over us. It was a lot of fun.’’