Gould didn't miss a single kick until Week 12 against the Patriots, and even that one wasn't really his fault since it was blocked. But after not getting a field goal attempt in Week 13 against the Vikings, Gould came up empty in Week 14 in St. Louis despite two fairly makeable tries. In Week 15 against the Buccaneers, he missed a 37-yard chipshot in overtime before getting the chance to redeem himself and connected from 25 yards out for the W.
But after starting 24-of-24 in 2006, Gould had suddenly missed four kicks in four games, and none of them were particularly long or in noticeably adverse conditions.
Then this past Tuesday, Gould was given reason to smile again when he was named to his first Pro Bowl. The second-year man out of Penn State was back home working construction at the beginning of last season after not being drafted coming out of college and failing to make a roster in training camp, so this was quite a turn of events. Gould is one of three Chicago special-teamers named to the NFC squad - linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and return man Devin Hester are the others - and has already made plans to take his whole family to Hawaii for the festivities.
Fortunately for the Monsters of the Midway, their babyface kicker looked like an All-Pro again on Sunday against the Lions.
Gould was good on all four of his field goal attempts at Ford Field, including three makes in the fourth quarter that proved to be the difference in a 26-21 Bears victory. He split the uprights from 36, 36, 39, and 44 yards, and there wasn't a doubt about any one of them. Gould is now 32-of-36 on field goal tries this season - good for an impressive conversion rate of 88.9% - and leads all NFL kickers with 142 points.
With his beautiful bounceback performance, Gould is the Bear Report Stud of the Week.
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