Something we haven’t touched upon has been the 49ers kicking unit—or the lack thereof. If there was anything atrocious from that 31-3 thumping on Monday, it was Gould, and his one field goal made...out of four.
Yes, Robbie Gould missed three field goals. That’s not ideal, especially when he got all that money a few months back.
So what happened?
Well, if you watch the broadcast, you’d see that placing this entirely on Gould’s shoulders is a bit premature. At least for all of them. The first one is the closest thing we can make to a Gould miss:
That was a bad kick. I rewatched the game to see if I could point the hold or anything else, and from my view, it looked fine. Just a bad kick, a rare miss.
So what about the next one. Was it an indication that Gould was off his game? No, not exactly. This is his second miss and watch long snapper Garrison Sanborn:
The snap lands on the other end of Mitch Wishnowsky’s leg, and he has a split second to get it down and have Gould kick it. That ball should be going into his hands and straight down, the closer to a direct right angle from snapper, to catch, to ground, the better. That one has some windup caused by Sanborn.
So then there’s the last kick:
Ok, that kick is just bad. Someone missed a block, and all hell broke loose.
The 49ers won’t get Kyle Nelson back for another
six two games. The incumbent long snapper has been serving a 10-game suspension for using performance-enhancing substances. If Sanborn continues to struggle, this could be a problem. The 49ers did recently sign him, so maybe the chemistry isn’t all the way there. Gould isn’t blaming the long snapper, the place holder, or anyone besides himself.
“You probably get 12 reps (in practice) before you go out there and play,” Gould said per Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee “So those guys have come in and done a great job and I just haven’t done my job. Obviously, I got to do that to help the team win, and just lucky the errors I’ve made over the last two weeks haven’t cost us a game.”
For some context: the last time the 49ers had a reliable kicker get the yips? David Akers and they went to the Super Bowl that year.