At the end of the Buffalo Bills’ offseason, the team released kicker Stephen Hasuchka and fully committed to rookie sixth-round draft pick Tyler Bass. We knew it would be a little rocky, but last Sunday, Bass recorded three 50-yard field goals in the second quarter, becoming the first player in NFL history to accomplish the feat.
In August, we did a statistical analysis of rookie kickers. We looked back on a bunch of them to show how they’re usually inconsistent in year one before settling in beyond that first season. We saw that inconsistency early on for Bass. He was 2-of-4 in Week 1, missed an extra point in Week 4, missed one of his two field goals in Week 6, and hit six of eight field goals in Week 7. (In that last game, he tied the team record for attempts in a game.)
But last week, he was a perfect 3-for-3 on field goal attempts with all of them over 50 yards and all of them in the second quarter. He hit from 54, 55, and 58 yards. Head coach Sean McDermott hasn’t been shy about sending out the rookie’s booming leg to take long tries, even trotting him out for a 61-yard attempt against the Seattle Seahawks. That’s the main reason they went with Bass over Hasuchka, general manager Brandon Beane said this offseason.
While Bass hasn’t been asked to make any game-winning kicks yet and handle the pressure-packed situation, he’s done about as well as most Bills fans could have hoped to this point.