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All-22 analysis: The kick I wanted to see the Bills use to beat the Chiefs

The time period “13 Seconds” has already reached the level the place me capitalizing that “S” makes full sense to followers of the NFL. And for followers of the Buffalo Bills particularly, maybe it makes extra sense to use Caps Lock and like, seven exclamation factors. I received’t even give a lot of a proof on this one. All of us have our ideas on what ought to have occurred. I’m going to give attention to the kickoff and what I wanted to see. To make it appear to be official evaluation moderately than cathartic whining, I’ll toss in some All-22 and stats.

We don’t know the place to level the finger

Earlier than we start, I’m not going to be pointing any fingers. Let’s assume it’s as a result of I’m too good of a man and never this quote from head coach Sean McDermott about the kickoff that’s muddying the waters: “We didn’t execute….disappointing as a result of we pleasure ourselves intimately. We work tirelessly on it.”

Is he suggesting Tyler Bass didn’t do what he was requested to do? Did Heath Farwell house out and ask for the unsuitable factor? Was it McDermott himself who made a foul name? Did an analytics nerd like myself botch the information? The world may never know.

The Kick in Query

Yeah, I’m gonna make you watch it once more. Right here it’s.

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Not a lot to analyze right here. I simply wanted to level out it was Byron Pringle set to return and that it was a preeeetty deep kick. Sure the protection ought to have held however it might have been straightforward to assist them out by taking extra time without work the clock than zero.

Byron Pringle

Considered one of the first issues I did to attempt to rationalize a touchback was to inform myself “I don’t know Jack about Byron Pringle. Perhaps he’s a very good returner and the Bills have been taking part in it sensible.” Actually, I would possibly change my tune if, as an example, the Bills have been kicking to peak Andre Roberts, or Terrence McGee circa 2005.

So how good is Pringle? Amongst qualifying gamers, he’s fifth-best in the league. Sounds nice, proper? It’s not. He’s half-a-yard-per-return higher than Isaiah McKenzie. I like McKenzie and suppose he does job, however he’s not adequate to cease me from making him return it and burn a while.

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Fifth finest? What’s that imply precisely? Pringle averaged 24.8 yards per return this 12 months. In different phrases, if you happen to kicked the ball to the one-yard line, forcing a return they’d doubtless get the ball at the 26 to begin. It miiiiiiiiight have appeared one thing like this:

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Yep. The first kickoff of the day was brief. It was returned by Byron Pringle from the zero to the 26. The Bills didn’t have any motive to suppose he was notably harmful. Oddly, this was the solely time the Bills didn’t create a touchback. Anybody who has adopted me for a very long time is aware of my cardinal rule for returners. DON’T. RETURN. KICKS. UNLESS. YOU. HAVE. TO! Which means the reverse is true for the kicking workforce. ALWAYS. MAKE. THEM. RETURN. IT!

Take into account these different information as nicely. Pringle’s lengthy return this season was 39 yards. There have been 9 TD returns this 12 months. On 1,101 returns.

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How a lot time are we speaking?

I took the identical Pringle return from above and centered on the clock. It begins when he touches the ball and ends when the refs declare useless ball. Additionally, you…might not…need…to…watch this…

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That’s seven seconds off the clock. That doubtless adjustments issues.

Abstract

I need to be clear there’s no assure that doing what I would have most well-liked (a kickoff like the first one) would have been profitable. The bounce kick they tried at the starting of the sport Byron Pringle might have seen would bounce into the finish zone anyway and let it roll by. It’s even potential he would have been instructed to try this. On the different hand, bounces are dangerous. If he doesn’t discipline it and it stays put he’d both want to scoop it up or threat permitting Buffalo to discipline it and seal the win.

Even when it solely appeared prefer it would possibly keep out of the finish zone, Pringle might have wanted to take it. Any indecision additionally permits the Bills to storm additional down the discipline, pushing KC again.

Additional, there’s an opportunity Pringle would have tried to protect a while by giving himself up. The success of that may rely upon a variety of components. However contemplate this; a booming kick that landed at about the 5 with the potential to bounce up (and again to Buffalo) could possibly be truthful caught to preserve time. The distance to discipline purpose vary goes means up. Pringle might additionally advance the ball and slide. That seven-second burn could possibly be much less in that case.

So, in the end, there’s no good means to predict how a lot it will have helped Buffalo, or if it will have helped in any respect. There was a good probability it will have helped SOME although, and little or no threat. The touchback was the solely means to assure a selected end result. 13 seconds with three timeouts left was not the absolute best end result.

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