Dan Carpenter Makes Most Of Opportunity


Oct 5, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Buffalo Bills kicker Dan Carpenter (2) celebrates his game winning field goal with punter Colton Schmidt (6) during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Buffalo won 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Carpenter came to the Buffalo Bills as a replacement for rookie draft pick Dustin Hopkins who was placed on injured reserve with a troubling groin injury.  Carpenter was so good for the Bills last year, that the Bills re-signed him this year and forced Dustin Hopkins to compete for a kick-off specialist.  Hopkins seemed to be injury prone in his first two years as he was cut after becoming injured again this year. 

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Carpenter right now, is tied for having the longest made field goal in the league, a 58 yarder, that was used as a winning kick for the Bills.  Now, Carpenter has not been perfect on the season, but his misses, unlike long time kicker Rian Lindell, have not been a major factor in the Bills winning or losing games.

Dan Carpenter is currently ranked fourth in the league in kicking with 17 of 19 field goals made.  He missed at the 30-39 yard level and again at 50+.  He has 16 field goals made with 1 field goal miss, which came last game.

Carpenter has been one of the reason that the Bills have been successful late in games this year.  With his 58 yard field goal against the Lions and another winning field goal in week 1 against the Bears, the Bills could easily be 3-5 without those two field goals at clutch moments.  Not to mention that Carpenter plays best against his former team, the Dolphins. In three games against the Dolphins, Carpenter has 12 field goals and 5 extra points accounting for 41 points of the Bills 71 total points for the three games.

Carpenter finished with 33 of 36 field goals made last year and is still on that pace this year.  The Bills need to continue to use Carpenter in every possible situation to give them the best chance of winning.  Kickers are not usually used as weapons, but Carpenter certainly is one for the Bills.