Consistency is a quality that has been difficult for several parts of Buffalo's team to grasp on a weekly basis this season. It's a big reason why the team has struggled down the stretch. But one area that continues to be a reliable constant for Buffalo is their punting.
Brian Moorman has quietly had another productive year as he's on pace to finish with the third best net punting average of his career, a stat that widely measures a punter's effectiveness. Currently holding a 38.9 average, he's extremely close to his two Pro Bowl seasons of 39.1 and 39.2.
"I feel like I've had a pretty solid season," said Moorman. "My leg has felt good."
Moorman is currently fifth in the AFC in net punting and seventh in the league. Among the top 10 punters in the league in net average Moorman stands third in returns yards against with just 185 all season.
Last week was one of his better performances when it comes to holding punt returners in check. Facing one of the top 10 punt returners in Leon Washington, Moorman didn't give him a chance to even attempt a return. Of his three punts on the day Moorman had two downed inside the five-yard line and another went for a touchback.
"Brian a lot of times has a great punt where it won't kick in the end zone right away and it gets a good bounce and a little luck to it and things work out," said John Wendling, who downed both punts on Sunday. "We gave our team field position and that's what special teams is all about, turn that field position over to our defense and we were able to do that."
"Going into that game we knew the Jets were one of the best special teams units in the league and we had to prepare like that and we did and I think we performed well overall," said Moorman.
Moorman's numbers this year are also in line with his two Pro Bowl seasons in terms of touchbacks as he has just five this year, and his number of punts downed inside the 20 which stands at 21 with two games to play. In 2005 and 2006, Moorman had 22 and 33 punts downed inside the 20.
The one figure that's dramatically off from years past is his number of punts. Through 14 games Moorman has just 52 attempts. In his first seven seasons he's averaged almost 79.
One of his attempts was taken away last week when they ran the fake punt play with Keith Ellison picking up a first down. Buffalo has gone for it on fourth down 14 times this season.
But that's right on pace for Buffalo's average during Moorman's time with the Bills. Buffalo has averaged 18 fourth down 'go for it' attempts a season since their Pro Bowl punter has been on the roster.
Moorman suspects his low punt attempt figures are a direct result of the teammate he holds for on Sundays.
"We've had more field goal attempts this season," said Moorman. "So instead of me punting we've had Rian attempting field goals."
In his five seasons with the Bills, Lindell has averaged just under 28 field goal attempts this season. Through 14 games Buffalo's place kicker already has 34. His single season high is 35 (2005), a figure he's likely to break this year.
Still 52 is a very low number of attempts for Moorman in a season based on the team's history. With two games to play he's unlikely to crack 60, which would be a career low. His current career low for attempts is 66 (2002).
Either way Moorman has done what he does every season, which is deliver. With the 2008 season almost in the books, the Bills punter is well on his way to becoming the most consistent player for the franchise in this decade.