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Buffalo Bills rookie punter Matt Araiza impressed with his first opportunity to be on the court in an NFL preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.
The former San Diego State standout threw an 82-yard punt from behind the end zone against the Colts. The play was called a touchback, but the punter still managed to score an incredible 62 yards on a punt from the Bills’ 18-yard line.
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“It was exciting. It’s really a new feeling to be there. The stadium is much bigger than the one I used to play in. I’m just grateful that things went well and what a great way to end the first game,” he told reporters afterwards.
Araiza also held the ball for kicker Tyler Bass to put the game-winning basket through the uprights. Buffalo won 27-24.
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“It was awesome,” added Araiza. “First game held, game winner. Tyler is an awesome kicker, so I think he makes us all look good. It’s great to hold for such a good kicker.”
Araiza tries to get the punting job against veteran Matt Haack. Both players had one punt each during the game. Haack punted 38 yards in his only appearance.
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The Bills selected Araiza in the sixth round of the draft. He was an All-American and winner of the Ray Guy Award in 2021. The Ray Guy Award is given to the nation’s most outstanding punter.