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Buffalo Bills go without punting for fourth time in last six games

Punting is overrated

When Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills’ high-flying offense is performing as it did during Thursday night’s 31-10 trouncing of the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, the Bills are making the punter position obsolete.

That’s because the rout of the Rams marked the fourth time in the team’s last six games that Buffalo didn’t need to punt the ball.

Newly signed punter Sam Martin did make his debut with Buffalo, holding for Tyler Bass on four successful extra points and a 41-yard field goal. But his booming leg wasn’t needed for any punts on the night.

Including last year’s Wild Card win over the New England Patriots, when Buffalo scored touchdowns on all seven of its possessions, the Bills have not punted in four of their previous six games.

The punt-free stretch began in Week 16 of the 2021 regular season, when head coach Sean McDermott’s team pulled off the feat during a 33-21 road win over the Patriots. The team then accomplished the feat for the second consecutive week during a 29-15 home win over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 17.

Buffalo called upon then-punter Matt Haack seven times during a 27-10 win over the New York Jets in the 2021 regular-season finale, before the offensive fireworks in the playoff victory over Bill Belichick and the Patriots in the Wild Card round. Haack also punted four times in the Divisional Round loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the last time Buffalo had to punt in a game.

Bills fans wouldn’t complain one bit if Martin’s services were once again reserved only for holding during the home opener vs. the Tennessee Titans Sept. 19 on Monday Night Football.