Buffalo Bills cannot keep relying on Steven Hauschka

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Stephen Hauschka
ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Stephen Hauschka /

Steven Hauschka has had an extremely impressive start to the 2017 campaign, but the Buffalo Bills cannot realistically expect it to continue.

The Buffalo Bills are off to a surprising, but never the less impressive start to the season. Their record of 3-1 is no fluke, especially when you consider the last two wins have come against the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons, teams which know how to get to the Super Bowl.

So how have the Bills managed to get off to such a good start to the 2017 campaign? One reason is smart, disciplined football, with Sean McDermott essentially proving to be the anti-Rex Ryan.

Another reason is an opportunistic defense, which has come up with timely turnovers and stops. After four weeks of action, the Buffalo Bills have allowed the fewest points in the NFL.

However, there is one other important factor, which helps explain the Bills’ remarkable 3-1 record – Steven Hauschka. The guy has been money so far this season, or as a member of the media called him the other day, “Hausch money”.

Hauschka was as vital as anyone in the wins over the Broncos and Falcons, as he converted all seven of his field goal attempts. And several were of the sensational variety, with kicks of 53, 55, 55 & 56 yards.

However, herein lies the potential problem. The Bills cannot expect the 32-year-old to continue to be so consistent with long-range efforts, especially when the weather starts to turn in Buffalo.

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This is not an attempt to undermine the Bills’ impressive start to the season. This is more about facing reality and that reality is they cannot continue to rely on Hauschka to keep up this type of form – it’s just not realistic.

Of course, there’s a possibility McDermott won’t have to continue to rely on his kicker, especially if the defense continues on its current pace. In addition, you can see gradual signs of the offense improving every week.

In any event, this is a problem to worry about down the road, when the weather does actually get worse. For now though, the Bills may as well continue to ride the hot form (foot) of Hauschka.

In that respect, the player himself has no issue with continuing to be called upon for long-range field goals; in fact, he actually likes it. Speaking to WGR550 on Monday, Hauschka said:

"“Sometimes it’s easier to do from long distance than it is from other places on the field. There’s something about the visuals of what you get, but that’s something as a kicker I’m constantly working on is getting that free-flowing swing from everywhere on the field, regardless of the situation.”"

Hauschka certainly seems to be relaxed about things right now. It seems that leaving Seattle has provided him with a new lease of life.

Part of the reason also likely comes down to the fact the Buffalo Bills are still perceived as underdogs, which takes a lot of pressure off the team. Hauschka said:

"“We don’t feel like we have a lot to lose out there. We trust our game plan and believe in ourselves. It’s a tight-knit group. We’re just going out there and finding ways to win.”"

Certainly, this mindset is working so far. Besides, who are we to argue with a player who knows what it takes to get to the top, after helping the Seattle Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII.

Next: Are the Bills for real?

How confident are you in Hauschka’s ability to keep up his hot start to the season? Further, where are you right now, with the Buffalo Bills’ chances of breaking their playoff drought this season? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.