The Buffalo Bills have become something of a recent Thanksgiving tradition, having played the holiday game two of the past three years. In both games, the Bills put on an absolute offensive show. But this year’s team managed to celebrate the day by rewriting the records books at TE.
To say Dawson Knox is having a great season is a massive understatement. The third-year TE came into the season a hotly debated player. Would he get past the drops and bring a long-needed element to the offense? In truth, many wondered why Zach Ertz hadn’t found his way to One Bills Drive. But it’s now clear the coaching staff wasn’t interested in adding Ertz when they regarded Knox as their in-house drafted answer. Knox is rewarding that faith and has been instrumental to the offense’s success in 2021—such that when he was out with a broken thumb, the offense’s production and efficiency slipped. His 31 catches on 41 targets tells the story of a player who’s gotten past chronic drops and developed into someone who Josh Allen implicitly trusts and frequently targets. It’s clear that attending Tight End University this offseason has changed Knox’s trajectory in the NFL.
By hauling in two more touchdowns on Thanksgiving night, Dawson Knox now has seven scores and holds the Bills’ single-season team record for TDs by a TE—and we’re only through Week 12. Even more impressive when considering his numbers is that Knox missed 2.5 games because of that thumb fracture (though not before he tossed a two-point conversion to Allen). His TD receptions both lead the 2021 team and have him tied for the league lead among TEs (Hunter Henry). It’s likely Knox has his sights set on former Buffalo Bills TE Paul Costa’s single-season receiving yardage record of 726 yards—set 54 seasons ago in 1967. He has a good shot at the record with 415 yards and six games left to play.
Knox is perhaps one of the Bills’ most indispensable skill players, and he’s developed a strong on-field chemistry with Allen. At his current pace, Knox should likely push for a 2022 Pro Bowl selection—a feat accomplished only by two other Bills TEs. Ernie Warlick made the game four times (‘62-’65) and Paul Costa was twice selected (‘65-’66). We’re talking about the potential for a truly historic season for Dawson Knox. That’s why he’s our player of the game.