Hair’s gone, missed kicks linger for Bills’ Carpenter
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Bills kicker Dan Carpenter insists the decision to cut his long hair had nothing to do with his latest round of missed attempts.
One way or the other, Carpenter was determined to arrive at his locker on Tuesday with a little less weight on his shoulders.
“You’re talking to the least superstitious guy in the locker room,” Carpenter said. “I was just done with having long hair. I don’t know. There’s nothing else to it.”
The decision to cut his hair for the first time in six years was still a curious one. It came after Carpenter continued his season-long inconsistencies by missing a field goal and a point-after attempt in a 30-21 win over Houston on Sunday.
The familiar long locks that hung from the back of the eight-year veteran’s helmet are gone. The frustrations still linger.
“Well, why would I not be frustrated. I mean, they’re not going through those yellow things, and that’s what I’m here to do.” Carpenter said. “I felt like I’ve been kicking the ball really good, and it’s not showing up on Sunday. I think that’s why I’m frustrated.”
Carpenter has missed four of 20 field-goal attempts — including a 30-yarder — after missing a 50-yard attempt off the left upright against the Texans. He also hit the left upright on his extra-point try with 1:53 left after Charles Clay scored on a 40-yard catch to put Buffalo ahead 27-21.
In his past four games, Carpenter has missed three of eight extra-point attempts, and four of 32 overall since the NFL moved the point-after line from the 2 to the 15-yard line this season.
He’s not the only one struggling with NFL kickers missing 57 extra-point attempts this season. Carpenter’s four misses are the second-most behind Jacksonville’s Jason Myers, who has missed six.
Carpenter said no one should be surprised by the number of missed extra-point attempts as a result of the longer distance.
″(The NFL) wanted us to miss. Frankly, that’s what they wanted. And they’re getting it,” Carpenter said. “And now everyone wonders why.”
New distance or not, the numbers present a significant drop off for Carpenter who had missed just two extra-point attempts in his first seven seasons, and last year set a franchise record with 34 field goals.
“Frankly, track record doesn’t really mean anything,” he said. “I just have to make kicks why I’m here. That’s my job.”
Carpenter still has the support of coach Rex Ryan.
“The extra point, we wish we had it back,” Ryan said on Monday, while noting holder Colton Schmidt erred by having Carpenter kick the ball off the laces. “But we’re not getting rid of Dan Carpenter.”
In donating his hair to charity, Carpenter said the person who might be the most disappointed this week is his wife, Kaela.
“Honestly, my wife is the only reason I’ve had it this long,” Carpenter said, referring to his hair. “I’ve wanted to cut it multiple times, and the wife has talked me out of it. So I finally outvoted her, I guess.”
The Bills (6-6) made a roster move by shuffling tight ends in preparing to play at Philadelphia (5-7) on Sunday.
Buffalo promoted rookie sixth-round pick Nick O’Leary from the practice squad and released Matthew Mulligan. Mulligan saw limited playing time, but had a key role in the win over Houston. Clay scored after being left wide open over the middle after Mulligan drew two defenders while running up the sideline.
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