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Jets vs Bills game balls: Who ya got?

Week 18 was anything but ordinary

The NFL’s first Week 18 in nearly a generation meant an extra opportunity to enjoy the Buffalo Bills on the field ahead of the playoffs. I’d begun handing out these “awards” simply as a way to highlight players who might otherwise not receive their just-due in the larger media circle. I also wanted to give you all a chance to reflect a bit on individual performances. While still a new semi-regular feature having begun midseason, a fair few of you took umbrage with a nomination or two of mine. And you know what—that’s great, and it’s exactly what this exercise is all about. How dare I mention the stellar season Ed Oliver was having amid a hair-pulling defeat?

This past weekend, when the Bills were just barely holding a lead coming out at halftime, I was at a bit of a loss figuring out to whom I’d toss a game ball. The easy pick is of course Josh Allen or, again, Devin Singletary—and obviously Stefon Diggs. But what more can I say about those players that hasn’t been said already by all of us here at Buffalo Rumblings? They’ve been great when the season demanded great.

Singletary doesn’t even remotely resemble the same back we grew used to seeing last season or through half of 2021. Josh Allen continues to mature as a franchise quarterback, and usually saves his best play for key moments. Diggs is a pro’s pro. Against the Jets, he broke the record for most receptions by a player with their new team. Plus, the intangibles Stefon Diggs brings to the team are as important and profound as his abilities between the hashes.

Then of course there’s the offensive line and that entire defense. The o-line could use a bit of love, certainly, and the defense deserves a LOT more recognition than their peers and many NFL fans have obliged. Zero sacks of Josh Allen and eight sacks of Zach Wilson. The trenches are humming—and at just the right time.

The secondary didn’t crumble when Tre’Davious White went down for the season. They simply played up to expectations, and their play—especially at safety—allowed the defensive line to function at an elite level. And what about the duo of Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds? They often work in anonymity to keep everything in check and drive a play where it best suits the defense. Neither ‘backer tends to stand out play after play, but their jobs are fairly intense operating as a pair within the heavy nickel scheme.

So, this week, I’m all in on who ya got—because I’m certain I’ve left someone out. Just remember, even punters have rough days. Let’s be thankful the rust didn’t steal a win.