There aren't too many plays in the final minutes of an NFL preseason game that ultimately matter, but Robbie Gould's winning field goal is one of them. A 57-yard field goal is a 57-yard field goal no matter how many reserves who won't make either team are on the field.
But Gould, the most accurate kicker in team history and the fifth most accurate in NFL history, said he didn't need a long kick in the preseason to prove he can kick them when it counts. He was 6-of-6 on 50-plus field goal attempts last season and is 11-of-13 in the past three seasons after going 0-for-2 in his first four years in the NFL.
''It doesn't really matter to me. This is my eighth year,'' Gould said. ''I'm just glad to get the opportunity and glad we made it. Everyone did a great job. It was a lot of fun.''
The field goal tied Gould's all-time longest in the NFL. He kicked a 57-yarder against the Broncos in Denver. But this one was at virtual sea level. It looked like Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey throwing a strike from second base -- fluttering just over the crossbar near the left upright. But it'll look like a Sebastian Janikowski bomb in the box score.
And the degree-of-difficulty was higher on this one. The Bears had their second-team field goal unit in the game, with fullback Tyler Clutts snapping and backup punter Ryan Quigley holding.
''Everybody did an awesome job ... holding, snapping, blocking,'' an appreciative Gould said. ''Quigley and Clutts did a great job getting it down. Blanchard did a great job with the offense, leading them down the field. We were lucky enough to get in range ... I got lucky to get it over the bar.''