The Buffalo Bills’ offense struggled for much of Sunday’s 16-10 road win over the Kansas City Chiefs, with LeSean McCoy being bottled up in the run game and Tyrod Taylor not able to stretch the field through the passing game. While much of this can be blamed on offensive coordinator Rick Dennison’s conservative play-calling, one person who came up big every time he had the ball was Buffalo’s punter, Colton Schmidt.
Schmidt punted seven times for 288 yards, an average of 41.1 yards per punt, as Schmidt and the Bills’ (6-5) special teams did an outstanding job of flipping the field and not allowing Kansas City (6-5) to start their drives with good field position.
“I thought they did a good job,” said head coach Sean McDermott on Monday. “I thought Coach [Danny] Crossman had a good plan with the coverage units. Colton [Schmidt] punted extremely well and that was key with that type of returner back there.”
Schmidt was remarkably consistent punting, as his punts covered 43, 43, 41, 43, 40, 36, and 40 yards. While those punts aren’t the longest of his career, Schmidt excelled at containing the Chiefs’ dangerous return man Tyreek Hill, who is a threat to take every punt back for a touchdown. Buffalo’s punter angled each kick near the sidelines to leave Hill with little room to work.
Four of Schmidt’s punts pinned Kansas City inside its 20-yard line, and none of them found the end zone for touchbacks. Only two of Schmidt’s punts were returned by Hill; one for five yards on Buffalo’s second possession and one for minus-five yards late in the third quarter.
On Kansas City’s final possession, where a touchdown would have won the game, Schmidt angled his punt 42 yards down to the Chiefs’ 14-yard line, out of bounds, and away from the ever-dangerous Hill.
On the season, Schmidt is averaging 45.1 yards per punt on 57 punts, with a net average of 41.3.