With 10 game-winning kicks in nine seasons, one might figure Bills kicker Rian Lindell doesn't think twice about giving his team a win. But after missing a 46-yard field goal earlier in the game, Lindell said he worried whether his missed field goal would be the difference until the Bills defensive and offensive units gave him a chance to win the game with a crucial three and out and a Buffalo drive down to the Oakland 20-yard-line.
"Yeah the whole time," Lindell said. "So thank you to the offense, thank you to the defense for their part. It's nice that they picked me up like that. It was huge. I can sleep now."
All hope seemed lost when linebacker Paul Posluszny gambled on pass coverage, missing a deflection by inches and allowing Oakland receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins to scamper 84 yards for an Oakland touchdown, putting the Raiders up nine points with 6:36 remaining.
But quarterback Trent Edwards led a scoring drive from the Buffalo 10-yard line and ended with an Edwards to Roscoe Parrish completion in the end zone.
Lindell then sent a booming kick into the end zone that forced a touchback and allowed the Bills' defense to go to work.
He said the kick was a combination of adrenaline and wind lanes.
"I definitely hit it well," Lindell said. "It's nice when they slow up when they take that knee."
The defense buckled down, holding the Raiders' offense to a three-and-out series that took just 2:22 off the clock.
Edwards again drove the Bills down the field, setting the scene for Lindell's chance at redemption.
Lindell, who moved into third place on the Bills all-time scoring list (527 points) Sunday ahead of Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed, said he never doubted he would get another chance.
"Oh absolutely," he said. "I was talking to the guys about what a great exchange that was. But (special) teams puts them back on the 20 and the defense did their part to force a punt. The offense gets the ball and drives it down, and it ends with the kick. It's nice when all the parts work together like that."
Perhaps the most encouraging sign for Lindell is the fact that teammates on both sides of the ball never doubted him.
"(Lindell) is special," tight end Robert Royal said. "He's a guy that has been playing in the league for a while, we have the utmost faith in Rian (Lindell), (Brian) Moorman and Ryan Neill, those guys work hard each and every day…We knew when we called his number again he was going to make it."
Linebacker Paul Posluszny agreed.
"We were happy to be in that situation," he said. "We have so much confidence in him. He's a great kicker. He was able to come up with a big play, big win for us. We feel like if we get in that situation and he's on the field, we feel like he's going to knock it through."