Riley Dixon’s night had more drama than most punters encounter in a complete season.
The Broncos punter — in his team’s 24-22 victory over the Bills — launched kicks well through the tip zone, dropped key snaps and was accused of using illegal substances by disillusioned Bills fans on social media.
Let’s start at the tip.
After the Broncos scored a touchdown to grab a 21-15 lead with 5:06 left within the fourth quarter, Dixon bobbled the snap and Denver maintained just that six-point edge.
It appeared that the error may cost the Broncos dearly because the Bills marched right down the sector for a touchdown — and with a successful extra point went up 22-21 with 1:55 left.
But Russell Wilson and the Broncos are not any longer the punchlines they were last season and the veteran quarterback — aided by a costly Taron Johnson pass interference penalty — moved the team into field-goal range.
Dixon, an ex-Giant, had no issues handling the 2 snaps that followed. Wil Lutz missed wide right on his first likelihood on the game-winning kick that was bailed out by the Bills’ 12-men-on-the-field penalty after which calmly split the uprights from 5 yards closer.
But what about that smudge on Dixon’s hand, wondered some Bills supporters clinging to hope stronger than their team is clinging to its playoff possibilities.
A closeup replay of Dixon’s hold did show something on the back of his hand, though it’s not possible to say what exactly it was.
Dixon dropping the snap on the extra-point attempt led some to think that it was some kind of sticky substance, which was banned by the league in 1981, to assist him grip the ball on a chilly and windy night in western Recent York.
“Are we going to speak about what’s on Riley Dixon’s hand orrrr,” one fan wrote on X, while tagging the NFL.
Barstool’s PFT Commenter rejoiced with the frustration build up on X.
Higher to have Bills fans questioning you than Broncos fans, which is how the night began for Dixon.
The 30-year-old slammed his first two punts of the night straight through the tip zone, seemingly not bothering to attempt to pin the Bills contained in the 10-yard line as most punters do.
After the costly mistake on the additional point, fans were calling for the team to depart Dixon in Buffalo.
The win, which was the Broncos’ third straight, got Dixon off the hook.