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Lindell takes five, and makes five <br> Kicker gets Bills off to early lead

How many of you thought of taking Buffalo Bills place-kicker Rian Lindell in your fantasy football draft?

Lindell had the best day of his career Sunday, connecting on five field goals in the Bills' 22-7 season-opening victory over the Houston Texans.

Lindell tied four other Bills for the second-most field goals in a game. One of those players is Steve Christie, who holds the team record with six against the New York Jets in 1996.

Lindell has made his share of three-pointers, but who knew he'd become such a scoring machine?

"You're a fantasy stud," punter Brian Moorman told Lindell.

He certainly was Sunday.

"I thought I hit the ball pretty well today," said Lindell, whose field goals covered 35, 21, 42, 39 and 31 yards. "I had a couple of kickoffs that I'd like to have back, but overall I hit the ball well.

"It's always nice to win and when you can say you contributed, which I did today, it's a great feeling."

Lindell made 24 of 28 of his field goal attempts last season and was 41 of 52 in his previous two years with the Bills. But most people remember his misses rather than his makes.

Lindell was only 4 for 12 beyond 40 yards in his first two seasons in Buffalo. He also hasn't had many opportunities to try many field goals in clutch situations.

But Lindell's focus is on doing his job, not what people say or write about him.

"I don't read the papers or watch TV (during the season). I really don't," he said. "It's the same with the good days. It's not going to make the field goals any wider or any closer. I just go about my business and worry about what I have to do."

The Bills didn't bring in a player to offer a serious challenge to Lindell in training camp, which should tell you how they feel about him.

Lindell may not have answered all of his critics Sunday, but the naysayers will be silent for at least one week.

"He's had a great preseason, a great camp," Moorman said. "He's kicking the ball really well and he deserved a day like this. I'm happy for him and I hope everybody has the confidence in him that he deserves."


Moorman, who serves as the holder on field goals and extra points, had high praise for new long snapper Mike Schneck. The six-year veteran was signed last week as the replacement for two-year starter Jon Dorenbos.

"Mike did a great job snapping today," Moorman said. "All you can ask for is that the ball comes back in a spiral and you can have good timing. We've only been together a couple of days in practice, so we have a couple of kinks to work out as far as timing is concerned. But the field goals went great today. He gets the laces right there every time and it makes my job easy."


Tight end Mark Campbell had one of the big hits of the day when he flattened a Texans defender to spring quarterback J.P. Losman for a 19-yard run.

"It's like in baseball when you get a hold of one," Campbell said. "You don't take any of the absorption, you're giving it all. It's good to get those guys once in a while because they are always trying to get us."


Wide receiver Eric Moulds extended his team record with a catch in his 111th consecutive game. That is the fourth-longest active streak in the NFL, behind Indianapolis' Marvin Harrison (140), Dallas' Keyshawn Johnson (136) and Philadelphia's Terrell Owens (129).


Linebacker Angelo Crowell was held out of the game with a groin injury and tight end Tim Euhus was sidelined as he still recovers from a strained pectoral muscle. Wide receiver Roscoe Parrish is still out with an injured wrist. Running back Lionel Gates, free safety Jim Leonhard, offensive guard Justin Geisinger and defensive tackle Lauvale Sape were healthy scratches.


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