The Buffalo Bills have a very deep roster heading into the 2022 season. For the most part, though, there haven't been many notable competitions at the top of the roster throughout training camp and preseason play. Arguably one of their most tightly contested competitions came at punter, where Matt Araiza and Matt Haack were going to battle day in and day out.
It looks like Araiza has won the competition in the aftermath of the Bills Week 2 preseason contest. Haack was released earlier this morning, meaning that Araiza, commonly referred to as “Punt God” has won the battle for Buffalo's starting punter gig.
The Bills’ biggest camp question was probably who would punt in 2022. That question has been answered. Matt Araiza, the “Punt God” wins the job. https://t.co/tWmEeA42gQ
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 22, 2022
Araiza had some expectations entering training camp for the Bills. Buffalo used a sixth round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on Araiza, and as previously mentioned, he earned himself the nickname “Punt God” for his punting exploits during his time in college. Araiza finished the 2021 season with San Diego State averaging 51.19 yards per punt, which was highest average yards per punt in NCAA history.
Still, Araiza had to beat out in the incumbent Haack, who was admittedly coming off a bit of a down year for Buffalo in which he averaged just 42.9 yards per punt during the 2021 season. On paper, Araiza figures to be a pretty significant upgrade over Haack.
Araiza has already endeared himself to NFL fans with his awesome nickname, and for smoking an 82 yard punt during the Bills Week 1 preseason contest against the Indianapolis Colts. Rarely do punters have fanbases, but it appears that Matt Araiza may be the exception, and it will be interesting to see how effective the “Punt God” is for the Bills during the 2022 season.