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Cody Parkey and the Chicago Bears' Kicking Woes

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During the 2015 NFL season, Bears kicker Robbie Gould missed six field goals, which was the most since his rookie season. Right before the 2016 season, the Bears decided to move on from Gould and released him, but they have failed to find his replacement ever since. This season they signed journeyman Cody Parkey to fill the kicking role. Unfortunately, that hasn't worked out so well, as he struggled all year and ultimately missed the game-winning kick last weekend (officially the kick was blocked).

While the Bears continue to struggle in the kicking game, Gould has flourished even more so than he did in Chicago since leaving. From 2016 through 2018, Gould has made a ridiculous 96.6 percent of his 87 field goal attempts. He ranks first out of 33 kickers who have attempted at least 45 field goals since 2016. In comparison, Parkey has made only 81.7 percent during this time period, ranking 26th in the league.

Gould vs. Parkey since Gould left Chicago

Since 2016 2018 Only

Rk Pct
Robbie Gould 96.6% 1 97.1% 1
Cody Parkey 81.7% 26 76.5% 29

A theory for the Bears’ kicking struggles is that it is difficult to kick in Chicago due to the windy weather. However, when broken down by how road kickers perform at each stadium, Soldier Field ranks third highest in field goal percentage since 2015 (2015 is the first year in SIS’s database). Road kickers have made 93.3 percent of field goals at Soldier Field, going 56 of 60. This includes one blocked kick and Gould going five for five for the 49ers in 2017.

Kickers at Soldier Field 2015-2018

Made Att Pct Avg Dist
Road Kickers 56 60 93.3% 36.1
Gould 24 28 85.7% 39.2
Parkey 14 19 73.7% 37.4

*Note: Gould going 5/5 in 2017 is included in both his numbers and Road Kickers overall

Even though Gould had a down year his last year in Chicago, his numbers at Soldier Field have been respectable. Since 2015 he has made 85.7 percent of his field goals there, which ranks second for kickers with at least 10 attempts in Chicago (Mason Crosby ranks first making 10 of his 11 attempts). Parkey, on the other hand, has been well below average at Soldier Field. To add insult to injury, per Spotrac, the Bears paid Parkey nearly double what the 49ers paid Gould in 2018. So, overall it would seem the Bears made quite the mistake cutting Gould.

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