Gould finds redemption with game-winner

Robbie Gould had to play the wind Sunday, and he played it correctly for the game-winner. Mike DiNovo/US Presswire

CHICAGO -- Thank goodness for second chances.

That's what Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould thought when he booted the game winning 41-yard field goal as time expired to give the Bears a 23-22 come-from-behind win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

Gould's 10th career game-winner helped him atone for an earlier fourth-quarter mistake when he tried to compensate for the wind and pushed a 33-yard kick wide right with the Bears trailing 19-7. The forecast for the game called for wind gusts up to 25 miles per hour and at kickoff it was announced the wind was blowing out of the Northeast at 18 miles per hour.

"I screwed up in the fourth quarter and made a critical mistake that could've cost our team the game," Gould said. "There is no excuse for missing that 33-yarder. I'm glad we got a chance to get another one and everyone from offense and defense to (snapper) Pat Mannelly and (holder) Adam Podlesh and all the guys blocking did a great job.

"I just made a mistake. I played it outside the post and everybody had been coming back but unfortunately that one didn't. I'm just glad to get a second opportunity and it's great to get a win. Obviously when you get a chance to win football games in the National Football League it's pretty tough."

The misfire marked just the sixth time in Gould's career he's missed from under 40 yards, the first time he missed from such a short distance since late in the 2010 season versus the New York Jets.

"Robbie Gould is not going to miss a lot of field goals, and that's why it was important to get him back in position," head coach Lovie Smith said. "I've been on the sidelines a lot of times when he's kicked the winning field goal."

Gould came into the season the most accurate kicker in Bears' franchise history and the fifth-most accurate kicker in NFL history.

"Robbie is a stud," Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "This is the hardest place to kick in the NFL, I know that, with the wind. I think on the first one the wind didn't blow and he expected it to blow. But it was a huge kick for us. It got us to 6-1. I expect him to make all those kicks because I think he's the best kicker in the NFL. He's been that way for a long time and he proved it again today."