Wins naturally carry more weight with Bills kicker Rian Lindell than anything else, and he has provided the points to lift Buffalo to victory more often than not. But this season Lindell can also set some individual marks with one game remaining in the regular season.
With 12 points last Sunday in the win at Denver, Lindell has already set a career high for points in a season with 124. His previous best was 117 back in 2004. Those 12 points also gave Buffalo's kicker the sixth double-digit scoring game of the season, also a career high.
"I think I have done some good things and maybe it's a character flaw that I look the glass half empty with respect to my game and I should look at it more as half full because I've had some good games this year and that's nice to contribute when called upon," he said.
Despite having the most productive season of his career, with a chance to set another franchise mark this weekend, for Lindell it's the misses that unfortunately stick with him most.
"Certainly the Cleveland game stands out and that San Fran game was the low point for me," said Lindell. "It's not like I can go back to one at-bat where there's 600 at bats over a season. The opportunities are limited so the bad ones stick out like a sore thumb, but I think I've done some good things too."
There's no debating that as Lindell is closing in on the franchise's all-time record for field goals in a season. Bills all-time leading scorer Steve Christie currently holds the record with 33 field goals set in 1998. Lindell through 15 games has 30, which already stands fourth best in team annals.
"Our kicker is a veteran and he's been very dependable for the most part," said head coach Dick Jauron. "He does a nice job. (I have) a lot of confidence in that area."
That's been obvious as Jauron has sent his kicker out for three-point attempts more times this season than ever before. Lindell's 37 attempts through 15 games are already two more than his previous high of 35 (2005). But why have there been so many opportunities? Lindell chalks it up to some of his fellow special teams units.
"We've gotten good field position because our return game has been phenomenal this year both punt and on kickoff return," said Lindell. "So we're not punting as much because we're about a first down and a half away from attempting a field goal about twice every game it seems."
Lindell also feels the weather has been pretty favorable making it less of a deterrent to attempt field goals. All told Lindell has missed seven of his 37 attempts in 2008, but that's still above his career average of 80.6 percent. He enters the season finale with an 81.1 percent success rate (30-37).
And while that may only rank 25th in the NFL in field goal percentage, only two other kickers in the league have as many attempts as Lindell. The more attempts a kicker has the greater the chances of the percentage going down.
More importantly Lindell is also among the league leaders in long distance attempts, which obviously don't have as high a success rate as the shorter kicks. Only two kickers in the NFL have more 40-plus yard attempts than Lindell this season, and one of those players kicks in a dome. Lindell has attempted almost half of his 37 kicks from 40 yards and beyond (17).
Already the most accurate kicker in team history, tying or breaking the single-season field goal record of the highest scorer in team history wouldn't be too bad either. And he'd prefer it come in a victory.
"I wouldn't mind that at all," Lindell said. "That would be good company to be up there with Steve (Christie). Five field goals in a win? I'd take that. It'd make for a much nicer offseason."