I present to you the least surprising news of the week. San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould has been named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 15. The award comes after he converted a career high six field goals in the 49ers 25-23 win over the Tennessee Titans. The kicks included a 45-yarder as time expired to secure the win. It is the second time this season he has earned this honor. The first came in his five field goal performance in Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.
Gould is having a career year, and has put together a record-setting span in recent weeks. Over the past three weeks, he has successfully kicked 15 field goals, setting an NFL record for a three-week span. He is only the second kicker in NFL history to kick five or more field goals in a game three separate times. His 36 field goals on the season are a new career high, and leave him two back of Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein.
Gould was named a Pro Bowl alternate on Tuesday, with Zuerlein claiming the starting spot. Zuerlein led the fan vote, and likely led the player and coach vote as well. He’s one of the more high profile kickers in the league, and I would have been surprised if he did not claim the starting spot. However, if the Rams end up in the Super Bowl, Gould would replace him on the roster.
On the one hand, Gould has had a fantastic season, and has been critical in two of the 49ers four wins. On the other hand, his extensive work comes in part because of the 49ers struggles in the red zone. Penalties have been killer for them, leading to this career year for Gould. He has a good chance of leading the NFL in field goals by the end of the season, but hopefully the next two weeks sees more extra points and less field goals for him.