Is Rian Lindell Kicking His Way Out of a Job?

Michael McMastersCorrespondent IJuly 16, 2009

ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 30:  Rian Lindell #9  of the Buffalo Bills reacts after missing a 40 yard field goal in the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers  on November 30, 2008 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. The 49ers won10-3. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Rian Lindell holds a few records right now.  His 261 consecutive extra points are the most for any kicker who has started his NFL career.  He also holds a Bills record for field-goal percentage at 83.04.

The thing is, he misses kicks in big games that count.  Not to say that any one game doesn’t count, but when the big-game pressure is on, Lindell seems to fold.

Going back to 2004, with the Bills in the playoff hunt, facing the Pittsburgh Steelers, Lindell is sent out for a potential nail in the coffin field goal to get into the promised land.  What does Lindell do?  He misses the kick. 

In 2006, with an opportunity to get a huge upset over the Indianapolis Colts, J.P. Losman finds a way to get Lindell in field goal position.  What happens? Lindell misses the kick.  Indy wins 17-16.

In 2008, in a Monday Night Football game against the Cleveland Browns, Lindell is asked to step up and make the winning kick.  Less than minute to go and Buffalo is down 29-27.  What does Lindell do? He misses the kick.

In the same season, playing against the San Francisco 49ers, with windy conditions, Rian Lindell was asked numerous times to put points on the board.  What does he do? He misses two kicks and the Bills fall 10-3.

Now putting all this into perspective, with the playoffs the goal this year, does Buffalo really want to march into the season with a shaky kicker? 

The Indianapolis Colts have seen what happens when you do that.  All you have to do is ask Mike Vanderjagt what happened to him after 2005?  He sure didn’t kick the winning field goal for Indy in Super Bowl XLI. That was Adam Vinatieri. 

Who knows with Lindell, but nobody in Bills Nation wants déjà vu.  Another Scott Norwood reminder is something all Bills fans can live without.