EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (WIVB) — Going into this Sunday’s game against the Jets the game plan on offense was simple: get Stefon Diggs the ball.
That should really put the focus ahead of every game but especially after a performance against Jacksonville where the Bills offense couldn’t get anything going and failed to find the end zone. That unit needed a spark and a big bounce-back performance. Who better to turn to than number 14.
“The point of emphasis this week was like let’s get him the ball as early and often as possible and he made some unbelievable plays today, some off the cusp plays,” Josh Allen said after the game.
“He’s an elite receiver for a reason,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said.
The Bills beat the Jets 45-17 at MetLife Stadium and Diggs played a huge role in that with eight catches for a season-high 162 yards and a touchdown.
“It does make it easy to throw to a guy like that. He works his tail off in practice, he does the right things, he’s a captain for a reason,” Allen said.
It’s the second time this season Diggs had over 100 receiving yards and the first time since week four against Houston.
The drive Diggs had his touchdown catch you could basically call the Stefon Diggs drive. Allen found Diggs down the sideline for a 57 yard gain. Then two plays later, Allen hit Diggs in the end zone for what looked like a touchdown at first but he didn’t have enough room to get his second foot in bounds.
So if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.
That’s what Allen did and it paid off, going to Diggs on that exact same play as he made an incredible catch over the shoulder for a 12-yard touchdown.
“Yeah we saw the matchup, we liked it, just a little communication to run a fade and give him a chance. And that’s all I can really do with him just give him a chance and he’s more than likely gonna come down with it. He had an amazing game today,” Allen explained.
With a quarterback like Allen with a cannon of an arm who can sling it downfield, opposing defenses have been trying to take away the deep ball and neutralize those deep shots which don’t exactly favor a receiver like Diggs. That’s why you haven’t seen as many as those explosive pass plays like fans are used to seeing from this Bills offense. Instead, defenses are trying to force them to nickel and dime their way down the field and throw underneath.
“We haven’t given him [Diggs] that much opportunity to be involved in our offense,” Allen admitted.
And while there’s the notion of “take what the defense gives you”, sometimes you have to force it to your playmakers and give them a chance to come down with it.
“Going back to last year, that’s just kind of how we were. We saw the same thing, he would make a play and I’d just give him a chance for it, and the more opportunities that we give him the happier we’re probably gonna be because he just continues to make play after play,” Allen said.
Allen finished threw for 366 yards, two touchdowns and had an interception in a big bounce-back win after that 9-6 loss in Jacksonville last week. For the most part, everything was clicking for the Bills offense. They were able to run the ball better and eight different players had a catch.
Gabriel Davis even had a quiet 100-yard day with 105 yards receiving.
According to Bills PR, it’s the first time the Bills have had two 100-yard receivers since Cole Beasley and Diggs each went over 100 yards in last year’s game at Denver in December.
Teams are going to try and take away the Bills best offensive weapon, which is Diggs. But more often than not, good things will happen when he’s given the chance to make a play.
Heather Prusak is a sports reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2020. See more of her work here.