No. 1: Kicker Robbie Gould
There are potentially a number of reasons why veteran kicker Robbie Gould hasn’t played anywhere near the level he was at during his always-reliable 2017 and 2018 campaigns the previous two years.
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San Francisco had issues and a revolving door at long-snapper, which combined with a rookie holder in Mitch Wishnowsky, could have led to Gould converting only 13 of his 20 field-goal attempts so far this season. The veteran long-snapper, Kyle Nelson, is back from his 10-game suspension, which hopefully helps solidify things a bit moving forward.
But that doesn’t change the fact Gould is still converting at a rate of only 65 percent — ranked 29th among 33 qualifiers at the halfway point of 2019.
It’s unreasonable to expect the 49ers will continuously blow out opponents in the range of their better-than-plus-16 scoring differential in the second half. And there’s a strong chance Gould will be asked to convert much-needed field-goal tries down the stretch, particularly as the weather gets worse in November and December. Perhaps even January.
The Niners re-signed Gould during the offseason to be reliable, and it hasn’t been the case so far in 2019.
For San Francisco’s strong run to continue, Gould will need to rediscover his reliable ways.