Randy Bullock sat in front of the computer screen and knew what was coming.
The Bengals kicker came on to try a 31-yard field goal in Week 1 to tie the game as time ran out in regulation, but he pushed it right with a cramp in his left calf. The miss sealed a 16-13 win for the Los Angeles Chargers and raised questions about Bullock's reliability.
"Nobody was more disappointed than I was," Bullock said a month ago. "That's a kick I expect to make regardless. That was a freak situation and was really frustrated and disappointed at how that transpired."
The game could have derailed Bullock's season, but as he's done so many times during his nine-year NFL career, the veteran picked himself up and put his best kicking foot forward.
Bullock is tied for first in the NFL with 45 points through the first four weeks of the 2020 season. He's made nine consecutive field goals in the last three games and ranks tied for first in the NFL with 12 field goals.
The nine-year veteran also ranks ninth overall in field goal percentage at 92.3 percent and is one of 16 kickers who has not missed an extra point this season.
"A lot of it is mental toughness and maturity," said Bullock after Week 4. "Being able to handle different situations that you are thrown into. Another thing that has benefitted me is having the ability to work with (long snapper) Clark Harris, (holder) Kevin Huber and (special teams coordinator) Darrin Simmons every day. That makes going to work fun. It helps you prepare to be ready for anything thrown at you."
It's worked well enough for Bullock to become the Bengals' all-time leader in field goal accuracy (81 of 93, 87.1 percent). He surpassed Shayne Graham, who was 177 of 204 (86.8 percent) with his second field goal against Jacksonville.
Sticking to the process Bullock's developed over his nine-year career certainly has helped him weather the kicking peaks and valleys. The support of his teammates and coaches, especially after Week 1, helped him refocus and turn into one of the most reliable kickers in 2020.
"They knew obviously that something wasn't right," Bullock said. "It is not a situation that I typically struggle with. Everybody kept saying get ready, we're going to need you the rest of the season. I felt like people had my back and I did what I needed to do to prepare, take care of myself, and perform at the highest level."