For Bears placekicker Robbie Gould, Sunday was the best of times and it was the worst of times. Early Sunday morning, Gould's wife delivered the couple's first child. After the birth, Gould jumped on a plane to Minneapolis for Chicago's 1 p.m. ET game against the Vikings, a game where Gould would miss a 47-yard field goal in overtime that would have won it for the Bears.
After the game, the ninth-year kicker took the blame for Chicago's 23-20 loss.
"There's no excuse," Gould said, via the Bears official website. "My wife did awesome. It was one of the greatest days in my life and I'm happy for my wife and my little boy. I'm sorry I couldn't do it for my teammates like I did for my wife this morning. That's hard to swallow. We're in a playoff hunt. I love my teammates just like I love my wife and baby and I just didn't do it today. It's on me."
The loss moved the Bears one game behind first-place Detroit in the NFC North, something Gould was all too aware of. "I hate losing," he said. "There's nothing good about it. That game could have cost us the playoffs and that's on my shoulders."
Before Sunday, Gould hadn't missed a kick since Oct. 20. Gould has only missed three kicks all season and two of those came against Minnesota. Gould missed a 66-yarder at the end of regulation that would have set the NFL distance record by three yards. Before the 66-yard miss, Gould had made 12 straight kicks over 50 yards, an NFL record he shared with Vikings kicker Blair Walsh, who hit the eventual game-winner from 34 yards.
"It's just tough because I pride myself in coming through in those situations and I definitely pride myself in helping my teammates out," Gould said. "That's why they send me out there to kick those kicks and today I just didn't get it done."
Gould might blame himself for the loss, but some people might blame coach Marc Trestman too. Trestman sent Gould out to attempt a 47-yard field goal in overtime, even though it was only second down.
"There's no guarantee that we would get any yards on second down or third down," Trestman said. "I just felt we were in range and let's get it done. I've seen it happen many times before. That's the situation that it was and we didn't get it done. We've got one of the best field goal kickers in the league certainly and unfortunately we didn't get it done. Robbie didn't lose the game for us."
Besides leaving the Bears one game back in the NFC North, the loss also leaves Chicago two games behind San Francisco for the final Wild Card spot in the NFC. The Bears close the season with games against the Cowboys, at Cleveland, at Philadelphia and at home against Green Bay.