The San Francisco 49ers are headed to the NFC Conference Championship game after defeating the Dallas Cowboys 19-12. The defensive showdown was tied at 9 late when a fourth quarter Christian McCaffrey touchdown run put the 49ers up for good. San Francisco’s offense was led by Robbie Gould’s 4 field goals. He scored San Francisco’s only points of the first half. Gould converted on all three of his attempts (29, 47, 50) giving the 49ers a 9-6 edge going into the break. His stellar performance would continue in the second half. The former Chicago Bear converted an extra-point and hit on a 28-yard field goal with a little more than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Prior to Sunday’s victory 49er’s head coach Kyle Shanahan addressed the kicker’s impact with NBC Sports,
“He’s been one of the best kickers of our generation, he’s been extremely consistent. You see how long he’s been doing it. And when it comes to the playoffs, that’s the most important thing. And I feel like he’s always going to make it, regardless of what game it is. That’s how he’s given us that feeling in these six years. And I guess it makes sense that I even feel stronger in the playoffs about it.”
Gould’s lights out play was not only limited to the offensive side of the ball. The veteran kicker made what may have been a touchdown-saving tackle early in the fourth quarter. Cowboys’ Pro Bowl returner Kevontae Turpin had broken free and was headed toward the end zone when Gould tackled him near mid-field.
Gould’s dependability has taken some of the pressure off the 49er’s offense. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk told the San Francisco Chronicle,
“When we get to that 35-yard line, I don’t even think twice. I just feel like we’re going to get three points. I tell you, it relieves a lot of stress.”
Gould Stays Perfect
After converting an extra point, and four field goals against the Cowboys, Robbie Gould is now a perfect 63-for-63 on postseason kicks. That stretch includes 28 field goals and 35 extra points. The 40 year old kicker is now the oldest player remaining on a playoff roster and will look to remain perfect when the 49ers travel to Philadelphia for the NFC Conference Championship game.
Third Time’s a Charm
Robbie Gould is looking to advance to his third Super Bowl appearance. With his previous two visits ending in defeat Gould wants nothing more than a chance to win a championship, after the game he told the San Francisco Chronicle,
“A Super Bowl ring is what I want; I’m missing that in my career. That would be pretty nice to enjoy with my family.”
After going un-drafted out of Penn State in 2005 Gould joined the Bears as a free agent. In his second season with the team he made 26 consecutive kicks during the teams run-up to the 2007 Super Bowl. He spent 11 seasons in Chicago where he remains the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. In 2019 Gould was selected as one of the Top 100 players Bears franchise history.