the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, October 29, 2012

NFL Week Eight: One-n-Many - Robbie Gould & Justin Medlock

Through the first six games of the season, Panthers kicker Justin Medlock only saw two field goal opportunities. Yesterday at a particularly windy Soldier Field he got five and made them all - from 34, 31, 22, 43 & 45 yards. 
"I wanted to get in a groove the first couple of games by kicking some field goals. It didn't happen, but I kind of figured they would come in bunches at some point. They finally came at the windiest place and on a tough field, but it was good to come through and help the team."
The last of the five, a close call that went in off the upright, came with 2:27 remaining and gave Carolina a two-point lead.
"I was telling the special teams coach before the game anything from 45-50 yards on that left hash would be one of the toughest kicks on the whole field because you have to ride the wind. You have to hold it off and not get it to turn over. I knew right away. I said, ‘Oh no, it’s going to turn.’ Luckily I was good for an inch."
Chicago kicker Robbie Gould was called on for only two field goal attempts. He missed the first one, a 33 yarder early in the fourth quarter.
"I just made a mistake. I played it outside the post. Everything's been coming back and, unfortunately, that one didn't. I was more mad because I made a mental error than a bad kick because I hit the thing pure."
After Carolina had taken the lead following Medlock's final kick, the Bears drove into position for a 41 yard field goal attempt. Gould made it as time expired, and Chicago won 23-22.
"[after the first miss] Eric Weems came up to me and said, 'You're going to win the game for us'. And sure enough, we got the game-winner. Obviously, when you get an opportunity like that, first of all, don't let your teammates down. I'm the final piece of a puzzle. I'm very blessed to have a lot of great people around me. Just lucky to get a chance."
Afterward, Gould said of his kicks in the larger context:
"I'm very fortunate. If we would have lost the game because I missed a short field goal I'd be pretty upset about it first of all as a competitor but also because I don't want to let guys down that worked so hard in here to get a big win. We were looking to get to 6-1, and just because I missed a short field goal there's no excuse for it. That loss would have went on my shoulders, but we won and that's a good thing."
When asked about his fellow specialist's performance, Gould commented:
"[Medlock] played great. Give him all the props in the world because it's a tough place to kick."
 For Medlock, it was of course mixed feelings:
"It's a tough loss. It's a team game, and we're here to win, but at the same time all I can control is kicking field goals and helping the team out. That part was good."

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