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The Buffalo Bills have invested significantly in the tight end position in recent seasons, initiated by Dawson Knox’s lucrative contract extension, and then most recently by selecting tight end Dalton Kincaid in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft.
During the 2022 NFL season, Buffalo utilized 12 personnel on 4.1% of plays — the entire season. With the addition of Kincaid, it was widely believed the Bills would begin utilizing a much larger percentage of 12 personnel. Through the first month of the 2023 NFL season, that’s exactly what offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey did — with Buffalo using 12 personnel among the greatest frequency, league wide.
The results, however, have been mixed at best. Through five games Kincaid is third on the team in receiving with 17 catches for 118 yards, while Knox is sixth with 11 catches for 75 yards and one touchdown. Kincaid’s longest catch has gone for 14 yards, with Knox’s longest reception is 15 yards. That tells the tale of two pass catchers who aren’t used downfield that often.
While it’s understood that Kincaid is used in more traditional tight end roles, what isn’t clear is why Kincaid has been sparsely involved far to often in each game. Perhaps it’s that he’s still acclimating to the speed at this level and digesting the playbook.
It’s also possible that the pair of tight ends are eating up each other’s potential. Combined, Kincaid and Knox have totaled 31 catches for 193 yards and that one TD. Together, their numbers would rank second behind wide receiver Stefon Diggs in catches, and third behind wide receiver Gabe Davis in yards. If Kincaid alone carried those stats, most would consider it solid production — even elite in terms of catches.
Still, with such an investment in the group, is it fair to have expected different results through five games? Why have they seemingly become afterthoughts in the red zone? If there is a disconnect — is it coming from Ken Dorsey as a play caller, or Josh Allen as signal caller? Is there enough room to hold both responsible for perceived lack of dynamism out of 12 personnel — or simply a dearth of looks Kincaid and Knox’s way? Or is this all much ado about nothing?
Tell us, Bills Mafia:
- Are you confident the Bills are headed in the right direction?
- Are the Bills properly utilizing TE Dalton Kincaid?