With the Bills finishing yet another disappointing season, one teammate is on pace to have his best season in his long career.
Kicker Rian Lindell has hit all but one of his field goal attempts this season, going 20-for-21 in 14 games. His one miss came in a 21-9 loss against Houston where Lindell made three field goals, but pushed his first attempt, a 37-yarder, wide right.
The 13-year veteran's field goal percentage of 95.2 is currently at the top of the Bills all time kicking leaders for a single season, ahead of his own previous marks of 92.0 and 88.9 percent in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
Lindell admitted his field goal percentage should be at 100 percent.
"I feel I've been kicking the ball well, so I guess I've been going into games with a little more confidence," Lindell said. "Numbers wise, I'm more frustrated with the one I missed because I had no business missing that."
For the first time in nine seasons, Lindell did not kickoff in the Bills season opener or in the following five games after. After a strong preseason, Bills rookie kicker John Potter made the 53-man roster and was assigned the job of kickoff specialist. Potter booted 26 kickoffs in six games, 13 of which were touchbacks.
Lindell said it felt unusual to him not kicking off even if it meant more preparation for field goals.
"It's funny, I think I almost over rested," said Lindell on giving his legs a break. "I thought 'I'm going to take this opportunity, I don't have to do kickoffs, so I'm going to rest my legs so they're really spry on Sunday.' But I think I needed some more work than I gave them, so it's been nice to kickoff again. Almost like when a pitcher plays long toss to kind of air it out a bit, which is what kickoffs will do. I like it. Maybe I've just gotten used to it."
The Bills cut Potter on Nov. 6 and Lindell was given back his kickoff duties.
Not only has Lindell dealt with an opposing kicker on the team, but also adjusted to a new holder. Bills former punter and holder, Brian Moorman, was released Sept. 25, just three weeks into the season. Moorman held kicks for Lindell 10 years before being cut this season. Bills rookie punter Shawn Powell took over as holder, but Lindell has still flourished in the kicking game this season.
The former Washington State Cougar admitted it has been a bit of an adjustment with Powell.
"Yeah a little bit, but eventually the ball is going to get how I want it so it doesn't matter who's fingers are on it I suppose," said Lindell on Powell holding for him. "Brian (Moorman) was very good, but Shawn has worked hard at it. He's been working with the jugs and it'll shoot bullets at him during practice and he's willing to put in the work."
Lindell currently ranks fourth in the NFL in field goal percentage this season and has just one miss in 397 PAT attempts in his 13 years in the NFL.