Eric Weems does not long snap, hold for or kick field goals. Hes not on the field when Robbie Gould goes out for those.
But the veteran returner played what may have been a key figure in Goulds 41-yard kick through a squirrely Soldier Field wind (or is that redundant?) that provided the winning points in the Bears 23-22 win to move to 6-1.
Early in the fourth quarter, Gould missed a try from 32 yards at a time when the Bears were in serious need of any kind of momentum builder after going scoreless for what amounted to virtually three quarters.
It was a stunning miss considering that Gould had his 72 of 77 kicks (93.9 percent) inside 40 yards for his career. When Gould got to the sideline, Weems noticed something about him.
We were on the side and he seemed to have his head down and thought he might be pouting or just down, Weems said. So after he missed that one, I went over to him and said, Youve got to believe. By you missing this, all that means is you just set your self up to make the game-winner. So keep your head up.
Kickers are very often solitary individuals during games and dont have or want a lot of interaction that might disturb mental preparation or concentration. Weems support was welcome and taken in the spirit it was given, however.
Eric Weems came up to me and said, Youre going to get the game-winner, Gould said. Sure enough, I got a game-winner.
I definitely knew it was good when I hit it. It was one of those kicks that came off my foot pure. The guys just did an awesome job fighting back the whole game and it would have been a bummer if Id missed that one, especially after missing the one earlier.
It was the tenth game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter or overtime of Goulds career (including postseason) and the first since September 27, 2010 versus Green Bay (19-yarder with 3:59 left in 20-17 victory). Gould is now 13-of-15 (.867) on the season in field goal attempts.
During his career in the regular and postseason, Gould is 53-for-65 (.815) in field goal attempts in the fourth quarter and overtime.
I thought the one he missed was going good, said punterholder Adam Podlesh.