Since Robbie Gould left Halas Hall in the days leading up to the 2016 season, Bears fans have had to put up with Connor Barth, Mike Nugent, Cairo Santos and even Roberto Aguayo (did I miss anyone???).
The signing of Cody Parkey in the off-season was widely seen as a good move by Bears GM Ryan Pace – bringing some stability to a position that had been in a state of flux since the team ended their ten-year relationship with Gould.
Parkey has not had a great start to his career with the Bears. Missing field goals against the Cardinals and Jets, losing a game on a missed field goal in Miami, then hitting the upright of the Goal Posts four times against the Detroit Lions last week.
NFL kickers have been fired for less. For example, the Minnesota Vikings cut fifth-round draft pick Daniel Carlson after he missed three field goals in their week 2 tied game at Lambeau Field.
Looking at Gould’s current form with the San Francisco 49ers it’s easy to get nostalgic. I’ve heard plenty of Bears fans discussing what a terrible move it was to get rid of the all-time franchise leader in points scored. But was Gould really that superior to Parkey?
Let’s compare their Field Goal accuracy. Gould for his last two seasons with the Bears (2014 and 2015) and Parkey during his time with the team, his previous career, and all time. Gould is the line, Parkey is the vertical bars:
As you can see, Parkey has never had Gould-levels of success with kicks from 40-49 yards. In every other category, he bests Gould. You can also see that this season is dragging his averages down.
This is a clear indicator that he has the capacity to be better and, at age 26, he is still young for an NFL kicker. It also shows that kickers don’t suddenly become bad overnight.
Gould had a two-year slump with the Bears that led to his departure. At the time it appeared he was in decline. His current tenure with the 49ers has him kicking at the highest success percentage of his career (over 95% across 26 games). Fans want him back based on this performance, but the graph shows that cutting him was the best decision at the time.
Gould has bounced back, as Parkey will. Parkey certainly seems to have the support from his teammates, check out this tweet from Eddie Jackson:
That’s Our Brother No Matter What❗️ Real Fans And People Lift Them Up Not Boo Or Bash Nobody Everybody Have Their Days…WeAllWeGOT🐻⬇️ https://t.co/vf0hNQA4yh
— Eddie Jackson (@EJackson_4) November 12, 2018
Fans need to get behind him too. A reliable kicker is vital to success in the NFL and the Bears will need Parkey to be on form and full of confidence if they’re to make a successful push towards post-season action.
As the old saying goes, “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with” so let’s ditch the boos show some support for the Bears leading scorer of 2018 – Cody Parkey!
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