Dalton Kincaid's big play sparks Bills' offense


Staff member

Dalton Kincaid now stands alone in the Buffalo Bills’ record book.
The team’s rookie tight end made four catches for 87 yards in Sunday’s 27-21 victory over the New England Patriots. In so doing, he pushed his season total for receptions to 66, breaking the franchise rookie record of 65 previously set by Sammy Watkins in 2014.

“I was actually just told that walking here. It's a cool honor to have,” Kincaid said during his postgame news conference Sunday. “I think it speaks volumes to the people around me and the situation I've been put in. We won, and that was the most important thing today.”
Kincaid provided the big play the Bills’ offense needed on its first possession of the second half, making a career-long 51-yard reception that set up quarterback Josh Allen’s 1-yard rushing touchdown five plays later.

“Dalton ran a heck of a route and finished the play,” Allen said after the win. “He’s been extremely consistent, very smart finding zones, and doesn’t feel like he’s a rookie. Getting him more involved downfield is something that we’ve been looking to do, and he did a little bit of that tonight. We’re going to need that going forward."

While Kincaid has made a lot of catches this season, impact plays down the field have been lacking, at times. His previous long catch before Sunday went for just 22 yards.
“I think it’s just how he fits right now into the overall offense, and then us continuing to get to know him and what he does best,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said last week when asked why Kincaid hasn’t made more plays down the field.

Kincaid had made just one catch for 7 yards in the previous two games leading up to Week 17.

“He’s so mentally and physically tough,” McDermott said. “He continues to push through, because it is a long year. When I talk to him about it, come game time, he’s ready to go. So, I don’t think it’s as much of a rookie wall thing, as it is just sometimes the ball finds you, and sometimes it doesn’t. There were a number of plays last week where he was the primary target, and it got taken away, so Josh had to go through his progression there. So he’s going to continue to be a big focus of our offense.”

If Kincaid makes three catches Sunday against Miami, he will break the franchise single-season for receptions by a tight end, currently held by Pete Metzelaars (68 in 1993). Kincaid’s 589 receiving yards are the most by a rookie tight end in franchise history, breaking the previous record of 482 set by Ernie Warlick in 1962.

“I know a lot was talked about what he’s going to do and this and that,” McDermott said. “He’s a good player. The ball finds them. He’s going to be fine. I’m not worried about him.”

Kincaid played 38 offensive snaps against the Patriots, 55% of the team total. Interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady faces the weekly challenge of balancing playing time for Kincaid and veteran Dawson Knox, who played 30 offensive snaps (43%) against New England. The Bills really struggled in the first half against New England, failing to capitalize on the advantageous field position provided to them by the defense.
“We came in at halftime, and we were adamant on making change and just kind of figuring out what's not working and what's working for us,” Kincaid said. “I mean, we're going to have to watch film and figure it out.”

The Bills will do so with a massive game looming. A win Sunday against the Dolphins will secure the Bills’ fourth straight AFC East title and give the team the No. 2 seed in the playoffs.
“We've been in the playoffs the last four or five weeks,” Kincaid said. “Each game has been the most important game. Now that this week has passed, next week is the most important game for us, so looking forward to that.”