Monday Night Football was back in Orchard Park for Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs stole the show. Diggs shined on the national stage, finishing with a stat line of 12 receptions for 148 yards and three touchdowns. Stefon Diggs’s domination was a combination of All-Pro talent, great play from quarterback Josh Allen, and outstanding play calling by offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey.
Ken Dorsey called Diggs’s number early and often in this game. On the first drive of the game, Diggs had three targets that produced two receptions for 12 yards. Both of his receptions came on a quick catch-and-throw from Josh Allen. With wide receiver Gabe Davis being out this game, I think the Bills wanted to test the Titans early to see how they would play Stefon Diggs. Tennessee played off him often throughout the game, which led to a lot of opportunities for a quick catch-and-throw from Allen to Diggs. This eight-yard reception is an example of that method.
On this 16-yard reception during the second drive of the game, Diggs once again had a big cushion from the cornerback. He ends up running a deep 15-yard hitch route, but the key to this play is Diggs selling the verticle route. Watch how he runs full speed until he gets the cornerback's hips to turn and then breaks his route off, leaving himself with four yards of separation to make the catch.
Diggs finally faces a bump-and-run look from the cornerback on this 15-yard reception, but still receives a free release off the line. The Titans show a 1-high safety look at the snap and surround Diggs with three defenders in their zone. Initially, Diggs is covered well but he moves the open spot in the zone to make the catch. There wasn’t any crazy route running here—just great football intelligence to find the open spot in the zone.
Play 4: First Touchdown
When you have an amazing quarterback like Josh Allen, sometimes all you have to do is put your hand up so he can find you. On Diggs’s first touchdown of the night, somehow the Titans lost track of him. A costly mistake on this fourth-down TD to go up by ten points before the half.
Play 5: Second Touchdown
On this 46-yard touchdown, Diggs shows off some superior route-running ability while also understanding the design of the play. The Titans show a 1-high safety look at the snap. Wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie runs a “dig route” behind the linebackers and in front of the safety. This occupies the safety's attention as Stefon Diggs runs a “corner-post route” behind him. Josh Allen plays a key role in the development of this play because he stares down McKenzie's route to get the safety to come down on the “dig route.” Diggs does a great job on the “corner” portion of his route by widening towards the sideline to create space for Allen to throw between the numbers and hash marks on the field. This is important because if Diggs ends up going too far across the field he will run into a defender who could potentially break up the play. By keeping the “post” portion of his route skinny, he creates a large seam for Allen to place the pass for a touchdown.
Play 6: Third Touchdown
The unique part about Stefon Diggs’s third touchdown is that they ran the same play on this drive three times (there were four plays total). All three plays were RPOs (run-pass-options) where Allen was reading the cornerback guarding Diggs. The first time they ran the play, the cornerback covered Diggs closely on a speed out and Allen handed it off to running back Zack Moss for a 17-yard run. The second time they ran the play the cornerback played off of Diggs and Josh Allen faked the run and quickly threw it to Diggs on a speed out. The third time they ran it Diggs didn’t run a speed out—he ran a slant. They ran the same play-action and drew the linebackers towards the line of scrimmage so Allen could throw a rocket to Diggs for the 14-yard touchdown.
Stefon Diggs’s domination was on display for all to see during Monday Night Football. Are we about to witness another All-Pro season for 14? I’d say a stat line of 20 receptions, 270 yards, and four touchdowns in his first two games is a pretty good start.