Welcome to the spotlight, Dalton Kincaid. The rookie tight end for the Buffalo Bills took some time to become a significant presence in the 2023 season, but he’s made quite an impact in the last couple of weeks.
During Thursday night’s victory against Tampa Bay, Kincaid notched his first career touchdown courtesy of a 22-yard catch from a Josh Allen scramble-drill play. His performance included five receptions for 65 yards and that crucial score, highlighted by an impressive sideline catch that converted a third-quarter third-down situation.
Kincaid has rapidly risen to prominence in the last two matchups. In the Week 7 game against New England, he achieved career-best numbers with eight receptions for 75 yards. In the first five weeks of the season, he had accumulated 17 catches for 118 yards. However, after sitting out Week 6 due to a concussion, the rookie has been exceptional, racking up 13 catches for 140 yards and another touchdown in just two games.
According to Josh Allen, “He feels like he’s been in this league a long time. He’s a professional. I thought he stepped up to the challenge, and we’re going to have to get him more involved in the offense as the season progresses.”
Expanding Kincaid’s role, especially with Dawson Knox on injured reserve, is crucial to maintaining offensive balance for the Bills.
But Kincaid wasn’t the only standout on that memorable night. Second-year wide receiver Khalil Shakir achieved career highs with six receptions for 92 yards, and the No. 2 wide receiver, Gabe Davis, contributed significantly with nine catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. Allen highlighted the importance of diversifying the offense by involving Davis more in shorter passes rather than exclusively relying on deep shots.
“It’s hard to always throw it downfield to a certain guy, and I think that’s hard for him as well,” Allen commented, emphasizing the need for a well-rounded offensive approach. He credited Offensive Coordinator Ken Dorsey for providing familiar plays that worked effectively.
While Stefon Diggs continued to receive his fair share of targets, catching nine of 12 passes for 70 yards, the Bills showcased that their offense isn’t a one-man show, as it has seemed at times this season. When Allen distributes the ball more evenly, as he did on Thursday, the Bills’ offense becomes a more formidable challenge for opposing defenses.
The key to Buffalo’s continued success lies in the consistency of players like Kincaid, Shakir, and Davis, as well as Allen’s trust in their ability to make impactful plays.