SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould wasn't just a piece of the team's offense in Sunday's 18-15 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He was the offense.
Gould converted on all five of his field goal tries against Arizona, accounting for all 15 of the Niners' points in the process. He hit from 49, 39, 47, 48 and 23 yards and has now made all 11 of his field-goal attempts since signing with the 49ers in March.
What's more, Gould has now connected on 28 consecutive field goals, the longest streak of his career.
Even after a tough defeat, one might think Gould would take some solace in his early-season success. But immediately after the game, he was quick to point out that the best way to continue to produce is to look ahead and not behind.
"I’m just worried about the next one," Gould said. "I couldn’t care less about how many I’ve hit in a row or how many I’ve missed and all that kind of stuff. The only one that matters right now is the next one."
Still, it's worth taking a moment to appreciate what Gould did Sunday -- and so far this season. For a Niners team that has lost its past three games by a combined eight points, having Gould as a stabilizing force who consistently does his job has been integral in keeping them in games.
Sunday's effort was an even better sign in that it was Gould's first chance to atone for the extra point he missed against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 3. Gould's focus on what's next allowed him to become the first Niners kicker to make five or more field goals since Phil Dawson did it on Oct. 5, 2014. He also became the first 49ers kicker to make his first 11 field-goal attempts in a season since Joe Cortez did it to open the 2001 season.
Gould, who replaced Dawson in the offseason, attributes his hot start to an easy and early chemistry with long snapper Kyle Nelson and holder Bradley Pinion.
"I’ve been in a great rhythm since April," Gould said. "Kyle and Bradley have been unbelievable, the guys blocking have been great. We work at it a lot. It’s been kind of a cool process because as soon as I came in here, the three of us just kind of clicked. I had one of my best offseasons, I had one of my best training camps and working hard with those guys, working on small things, trying to perfect it. A lot of credit guys to those guys, the guys blocking and my coaches because I wouldn’t be standing here in front of you guys if I didn’t have that help."
Through the first quarter of the season, Gould is one of 12 kickers to make all of his field goal tries. But Gould is one of only three -- along with the Rams' Greg Zuerlein and Carolina's Graham Gano -- without a miss on at least 10 attempts. Gould also ranks eighth in the league in scoring among kickers with 36 points.
“I’m having a lot of fun, and these guys are really making it a lot of fun," Gould said. "Whether it’s after a field goal, whether it’s during practice or whether it’s during meeting rooms, everyone is challenging each other to get better. Everyone is challenging each other to do something outside the box they might not have been comfortable with. That way if we get into situations where we need to do something that we haven’t done, we’re all going to succeed. I think credit to the coaches [Richard] Hightower, [Michael] Clay, [Stan] Kwan and everybody involved.”
Of course, Gould would trade all of those kicks if it meant the Niners could put a tally in the statistical category that they care about most: wins.
“The last three have been tough; let’s be honest," Gould said. "The biggest thing is that we want to win. We haven’t done that yet, but there’s something special brewing here. It’s a big reason why I signed here. This team has a chance to do something special, and I can’t wait for it to happen.”