Buffalo Bills kicker Rian Lindell was diplomatic in addressing coach Chan Gailey’s decision to forgo a 52-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 15-12 loss to the St. Louis Rams.
“Dang it, I guess,” Lindell said in describing his reaction, although his response on the field looked far less family friendly. “I want to kick them all, you know what I mean?”
Gailey passed up a chance at a field goal of 50-plus yards for the third time this season, following a Week Six win in Arizona and a Week 12 loss at Indianapolis.
The field goal, which could have given the Bills a 15-7 lead, was toward the scoreboard end of Ralph Wilson Stadium. Lindell had hit from 55 yards in that direction during pregame warm-ups, although it was not raining at that time.
Lindell, who’s in his 10th season with the Bills, was asked if he worried about his future with the team, given his coach’s reluctance to try long-distance field goals.
“I always wonder about my future. I’m trying to keep a job every week, every practice,” he said.
Holder Shawn Powell had an extra-point snap slip through his fingers following the Bills’ third-quarter touchdown, and Lindell said that may have factored into the decision to punt in the fourth quarter.
Bills receiver Donald Jones finished with three catches for 33 yards in his return following a one-game absence because of a calf injury.
“It’s always frustrating when you can’t get your playmakers the ball,” he said after the game. “We’ve got a lot of playmakers on this team and it hurts when you know you have so many playmakers and we can’t get the ball and do what we do.
“It’s definitely frustrating to be out there, and it’s frustrating to come in here every week and go through this.”
Jones said the Bills missed several opportunities to put points on the board, a common theme among players in the locker room after the game.
“Whatever’s called, we’ve got to make the plays,” he said. “We all have certain drives that stick in our head the most. I’m not going to comment on those, I’ll keep them to myself. … Like I said, from an offensive standpoint, we know we’ve got a lot of playmakers on this offense. So to go through this year after year, I’ve only been here three years, but we play to win and play to make the playoffs. To being going through this every year, it really hurts.”
Jones said he had no doubt the Bills were talented enough as a team.
“We haven’t gotten it done this year, and hopefully it starts getting done soon.”
The Bills’ patch-work offensive line had a forgettable day.
With center David Snow and right tackle Sam Young each making his first career start, the Bills managed just 61 yards rushing, well below their season average of 147.9 per game coming in.
“We didn’t have a great day at all. Gave up too many sacks. Didn’t have enough rushing. Especially in the first half, I think we only had like 16 yards, which is ridiculous,” left guard Andy Levitre said. “That’s not our game. We’re going to have to come back this week and fix that.”
Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was sacked five times, a season high.
“They’re a team that showed they get after the passer,” Fitzpatrick said. “They came in with 35-plus sacks. Some of it is the blitzing. Some of it is the guys they have rushing the passer, but I knew it was a game I was going to get hit around a little bit just because of the talent on that side of the ball. I think I can do a better job of standing in there and throwing it a little better.”
Bills defensive end Mark Anderson missed his eighth straight game because of a knee injury. Also inactive were center Eric Wood, who missed his first game of the season because of a knee injury, and cornerback Aaron Williams, who was held out for the fifth straight game, also because of a knee injury.
Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, receiver Marcus Easley, cornerback T.J. Heath and offensive lineman Chris Scott were healthy inactives for the Bills.
The Rams were without leading receiver Danny Amendola because of a foot injury.
Mario Williams’ sack of Rams quarterback Sam Bradford gave him 10.5 for the season, making him the first Bills player since Aaron Schobel in 2009 to reach double digits in that category.
Williams has at least one sack in the last four games and five of his last six.
“A loss is a loss to me,” Williams said after the game when asked if he took any satisfaction out of his improved play. “The games that we’ve lost, especially the ones similar to this, are tough. It’s one of those things where we have to figure out what we need to do to keep things going and keep moving.”
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Lee Smith in the third quarter was the 77nd of his Buffalo career, tying him with Jack Kemp for third on the team’s all-time list. … Rookie cornerback Stephon Gilmore’s interception in the second quarter was the first of his career. … The Bills wore all-white throwback uniforms modeled after those the club wore during the 1964 and ’65 AFL championship seasons, with a white helmet featuring a red standing buffalo.