The Buffalo Bills traded the 22nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and various other assets to the Minnesota Vikings for wide receiver Stefon Diggs. To date, no one knows how this trade has worked out for the Bills. I’m here to get to the bottom of this mystery and figure out if the trade was worth it.
On this play the design from offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and the play call by the Seattle Seahawks gives Stefon Diggs a pretty easy matchup. He’s so wide open it actually makes it easier to see that the pass isn’t perfect from Josh Allen. The adjustment back toward the line of scrimmage saps some possible YAC and looks glaring as Diggs significantly changes his trajectory despite the defender being miles away. Don’t worry readers, I’m not trying to make a case against Allen. He’s gone from “this happens a lot” to “every QB is gonna have a couple of these” territory.
So yeah. The Seahawks’ secondary wasn’t very good. Kudos again to the play design on the part of the Bills as the two receivers stress numerous points of the defense. The sudden change of direction from Diggs on top of that makes this an easy pitch and catch. This is a great explanation on how Allen can get over 400 yards in a game. If the secondary isn’t decisive (and correct) they can do this all day.
The Bills have called a play where Stefon Diggs is crossing toward the right while Cole Beasley crosses left. The idea here is that trailing defenders have a chance at getting caught in traffic and left behind. It’s a good design but Diggs doesn’t need any of that. His stop-and-go right off the line has him wide open anyway.
They’re respecting what Diggs can do over the top and give a good-sized cushion. Diggs hits the brakes and has plenty of space to work from. An aspect of Diggs’s game that I’ve really come to love is his ability to avoid big hits. Now, he can’t avoid them all as sometimes he needs to make the catch in traffic. Whenever possible though, he strikes a nice balance of fighting for more yards and living to fight another day.
Diggs uses his hands to gain space right at the snap, and he’s got plenty of space. This is funny to me because he leaves his opponent so far in the dust that you can argue it’s a disadvantage on this route. Specifically, when you make a cut back this sharp the idea is that a closely pursuing defender can’t make the same cut and will run by you. Here Diggs is so far ahead that his man has plenty of time to see the cut back and adjust. Not that it mattered.
The hesitation move. The change of direction. The Bills were 2nd-and-20 and wanted to get a large chunk back for a reasonable third down. Diggs got them 11 just like [snaps fingers].
I know this is a difficult case and you’re all anxious to know if this trade worked out for the Buffalo Bills. You’ll have to trust me on this since it’s all so subtle. But I do think it’s working out for Josh Allen and the Bills.