Bears' Gould gets encouragement from teammate
Robbie Gould kicks the game-winning, 41-yard FG as time expires Sunday at Soldier Field.
JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer
So easy. Right, "E-Weezy?"
With the Bears looking like they were headed for defeat Sunday for the first time since their Thursday night fiasco at Green Bay a month-and-a-half ago, Eric Weems beelined on the sideline.
The special-teams ace walked up to kicker Robbie Gould and predicted that Gould would make the game-winning field goal.
Gould would, giving the Bears a wild, 23-22 victory over upset-minded Carolina.
Weems -- "E-Weezy," as Gould calls him -- made his call after the super-reliable Gould missed a field goal that he probably could make blindfolded on most days.
But Sunday was windy at Soldier Field, and it didn't help Gould, who missed a 33-yard field-goal try wide right early in the fourth quarter with the Bears trailing 19-7.
It was the shortest miss of his eight-year NFL career with the Bears.
"I just overplayed it," Gould said. "Everything was going right to left hard. As soon as I hit it, I (thought), 'That's good.' But it stayed there (right)."
"He was on the sideline pouting and holding his head down," Weems said. "So I walked up to him and told him he's got to keep his head up. I said, 'All you've done is set yourself up to make the game-winner. So when the (opportunity) comes, be ready to make it.'
"He said, 'OK, I gotcha, E-Weezy,' and then we left it at that."
The next time Weems and Gould talked, the Bears were celebrating Gould's 41-yard game-winner with no time left on the clock.
"Who would have thought it would come down to something like that?" Gould said.
"I said, 'I told you,'" said Weems with a victory smile. "He said, 'Yeah, man, I gave all the credit to you.' That's a great team player."
True, Gould didn't want any credit for his clutch kick, which extended the Bears' winning streak to five.
"I just got lucky that it fell in for me," Gould said.
It was his first game-winner since his 19-yarder beat Green Bay two years ago at Soldier Field.
"Every kick's got to go in," Gould said. "Look at the 33-yarder I missed. If I make that kick, we don't even probably have to kick a game-winner."
Coming into Sunday's game, Gould was an amazing 72 of 77 -- including 5 of 5 this season -- in his career on field-goal tries from 30-39 yards.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler helped put the Bears in field-goal range by engineering a nine-play, 55-yard drive to the Carolina 23, after Justin Medlock's fifth field goal had put the Panthers up 22-20 with 2:27 left.
"I'm supposed to go out there and make field goals pretty much every time," Gould said. "I didn't do that today, but I got a second chance, and I'm very thankful.
"The guys did a great job to give us a second chance to kick a second field goal."
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