The Buffalo Bills have ridden a number of hot hands to their 3-1 start in 2017, but it’s hard to argue that any of them have been hotter than kicker Stephen Hauschka. After missing his lone field goal try against the New York Jets, Hauschka is a perfect 8-for-8 in the last three games, including a 3-for-3 performance against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
What’s even more impressive is the distance some of those field goals came from. He hit from 53 and 55 yards out against the Denver Broncos, and hit again from 55 and 56 yards out in the fourth quarter over the Falcons.
The second of those field goals put him past Mike Hollis for fourth place in Bills’ history for 50-yard field goals ... not in a season, in a career. Only Rian Lindell (12), Steve Christie (13), and Dan Carpenter (14) have more field goals from outside of 50 in Bills history, and they all played well over four games with the Bills.
Sunday’s field goals did give Hauschka the team record from kicks at 55 yards or beyond. He has three from that range, passing Christie and Carpenter, who both had two. Both kickers have had longer field goals, as Carpenter hit from 58 to give the Bills a win over the Detroit Lions in 2014 and Christie hit a team-record 59-yarder in a loss to the Miami Dolphins back in September of 1993.
While it is a bit disconcerting that he needs to kick so many field goals from that distance, he’s certainly validating the three-year deal he signed after leaving the Seattle Seahawks this offseason. It’s nice to have a kicker you don’t need to worry about, but it’s even better when that kicker is actively helping his team win games.