Video: Bills punter uncorks crazy 82-yard punt
Buffalo Bills rookie punter Matt Araiza is already living up to his “Punt God” nickname.
The Bills beat the Indianapolis Colts 27-24 on Saturday during both teams’ first preseason game of 2022. With the Colts leading 10-7 near the end of the first half, Araiza lined up all the way back around the Bills’ five-yard line for his first punt of the game.
Araiza caught the snap, took a few steps forward and unloaded a booming 82-yard punt with his left foot at around the eight-yard line.
The ball landed around the Indianapolis 15-yard line and rolled into the end zone for a touchback.
What a leg! @matt_araiza just sent this punt 82 yards. 😱
— NFL (@NFL) August 13, 2022
Talk about a huge swing in the field position battle.
The 22-year-old’s punt fell 16 yards shy of the 98-yard NFL record set by New York Jets rookie punter Steve O’Neal in 1969.
Araiza was drafted out of San Diego State in the sixth round with the No. 180 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. It is somewhat rare for a college punter to be drafted, but last year’s Ray Guy Award-winner for the most outstanding punter in college football was known for some roaring punts during his college career.
In 14 games last season, Araiza averaged 51.2 yards per punt and had 4,044 total punting yards on 79 attempts. He also made 18-of-28 field goals and drilled all 45 of his extra point tries.
While Araiza’s punt may have been the highlight of the game for the Bills, the Colts enjoyed a viral moment of their own.