Sure, the NFL has made it tougher on kickers to convert the point-after attempt, which is now a not-so-certain 33-yard kick. But Carpenter's five misses, including one in Sunday's 16-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys, should be a point of concern for the Bills.
But will it impact Carpenter's status with the team next season?
"Well I think with anybody -- and this is any player -- what you look to do is, regardless of the position, you are going to look to give your team the best possibility of being successful," coach Rex Ryan said Monday. "Dan [Carpenter] has had a history being successful kicking here, so that is something you can’t ignore also. Has he struggled this year? Yes, he has.
"But I think -- you know, I don’t see Lou 'The Toe' Groza coming in. If that happens, then OK. We will see what happens."
Ryan's response seemed to indicate some pause about keeping Carpenter as the kicker for next season, although it would take a worthy replacement to push him off the roster.
After converting 91.7 percent of his field goals upon arriving in Buffalo in 2013, Carpenter signed a four-year extension in March 2014 that included $2.15 million in guaranteed money. Carpenter's conversion rate dipped slightly last season to 89.5 percent, although he converted 6 of 8 field goals from 50 yards or more, the second-highest total in the NFL.
This season has been another story. Carpenter has converted 83.3 percent of his field goals, which ranked 23rd in the NFL before Monday night's game. While he's been fairly accurate from longer distances -- he's 6 of 7 from 40-plus yards and 3 of 5 from 50-plus yards -- he's missed easier kicks. In addition to his five missed extra points, those missed easier kicks undermine his job security for next season.
The Bills can save $1.7625 million by releasing Carpenter after this season, including a $250,000 roster bonus that they can avoid paying if he's released prior to the seventh day of the 2016 league year, which begins in mid-March.