Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Bears [Print without images]

Thursday, January 9, 2014
10 plays that shaped the season: No. 4

By Michael C. Wright
ESPN.com

Robbie Gould
Robbie Gould (9) reacts to his missed field goal attempt in overtime on Dec. 1 in Minnesota.
WHEN: Dec. 1, 2013

WHERE: A 23-20 overtime loss the Minnesota Vikings.

THE PLAY: Robbie Gould's missed 47-yard field goal in overtime sailed wide right, and the Vikings marched 47 yards in seven plays to get into position for Blair Walsh's game-winning 34-yard field goal.

WHAT THEY SAID: Bears coach Marc Trestman: “It’s very simple. Once we got inside the 30-yard line, we were going to kick it. We were well within Robbie’s range. We ran the ball on first down and got three [yards]. We were sitting there on second-and seven, and the ball is in the middle of the field. With all the things that had happened throughout the game, including Minnesota’s failure to make a field goal when they went back with penalties, we were in a great position right there to kick it and finish the game. The decision is not anything I regret. I regret that I have to take accountability that it didn’t. ... I don’t regret that I have to take accountability for it, but I do. I made the decision to do it on second down and 7, and we didn’t get it done.”

IMPACT OF THE PLAY: Obviously, it lost the game for the Bears. But in the immediate aftermath, Trestman’s decision to go for a field goal on second down instead trying to move the ball closer for a shorter kick was second-guessed repeatedly.

During that overtime sequence, Trestman called five consecutive runs to Matt Forte, who gained 24 yards in moving the Bears to the Minnesota 32. From there, Trestman called two timeouts before Gould came onto the field for the field-goal attempt.

The argument could have been made that Trestman should have run at least one more play to try to shorten the distance of Gould's potential game-winning attempt.

Going into that game, Gould had connected on five field goals throughout his career from distances of 55 yards or more, including 12 consecutive field goals from 50 yards or more. He had connected on all five of his field goal attempts between 40 and 49 yards entering the matchup with the Vikings, and over the past two seasons he had been 12 of 14 from that range.

Overall, though, Gould was least accurate throughout his career from the 40-to-49-yard range (72.7 percent). He had made 100 percent over nine years from 20 to 29 yards out, 90.5 percent from 30 to 39 yards, and 78.9 percent from distances of 50 yards or more.