Robbie Gould booted the Bears to a desperately needed first win under John Fox, one of the few special-teams highlights, albeit a huge one, from 49 yards in one of the NFL’s most difficult kicking venues. It was the 12th game-winner of Gould’s career and ties his previous longest for a winning kick.
Gould had converted from 54 yards earlier in the fourth quarter, pushing his success rate from 50 yards or longer to 76 percent (19 for 25, a franchise record). His three successful boots Sunday moved him to 9-for-9 on the season. Gould also is four points from tying Kevin Butler’s franchise scoring mark (1,116 points).
“I love that [south] end zone, because that’s the wind I’m used to,” Gould said. “I think I’ve hit all my game-winners at that end. The last one I remember at that distance was the Seahawks. You kind of bring yourself back to certain kicks.
“I knew if I hit it to the right upright and everyone else did their job – which they did all game – I knew we were going to have a chance to win it. Just trust your lines. It’s the same old end zone down there for me. It’s just something I’m comfortable with.”
Despite Gould’s game-saving efforts, special teams continued to be a glaring weakness in the Bears’ game, going from the breakdowns in the loss to Seattle to different forms of poor execution and focus vs. Oakland.
‘Teams started against Oakland nearly as bad as they were against the Seattle Seahawks. Gould’s first PAT, attempted with new holder and punter Spencer Lanning, was blocked. On the ensuing kickoff, Gould’s pooch kickoff went out of bounds without a Bear getting to it, forcing the defense to face the Raiders from the Oakland 40. The defense forced a three-and-out but Oakland was able from that range to drop a punt at the Chicago 6.