The Buffalo Rumblings analysis team has good news... and we have bad news. The good news is that there’s extra Buffalo Bills analysis this week on the Divisional Round playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The bad news? Well, the good news is mostly possible because we don’t have any opponent to preview.
We covered a lot of what happened with the defensive side of things so let’s shift gears to the offense. I’ll be taking a look at Stefon Diggs. How did the wide receiver do?
Play 1: Diggs in traffic
If you checked out Skarey Movies this week, I highlighted a tackle for loss by linebacker Matt Milano and called it out as a play that stood out for being...ordinary. This is a new thing for fans of the Bills but these kinds of plays have become ordinary to us. On this play, Diggs was surrounded by Bengals but the velocity that Josh Allen can get on a ball means that narrow windows are just fine. This play does not illustrate a highlight these days. In last Sunday’s game though, our new ordinary wasn’t achieved as much as we’d like.
Play 2: ♪ Let’s Get Physical ♪
On the defensive side of the ledger I called out the team for coming across as looking exhausted and run down. Some of that felt similar on offense, but not with Stefon Diggs. Diggs was eager to get into it on the line and as we see at the end of the play here, he got into it pretty far downfield too. This was evident right away, even before frustration would have been the most likely cause.
Play 3: Diggs’ frustration
Though maybe it wasn’t too early for frustration to be setting in. Josh Allen seemed uncharacteristically off target a handful of times in just the first couple drives. This was the second low pass of the drive and Diggs was giving Allen some suggested corrections.
Play 4: All eyes on Diggs
As would be expected, the Bengals did try to key in on Diggs. On this 2nd & 16 play, Diggs drew the safety his way — enough to make this an easy first-down catch for rookie wide receiver Khalil Shakir.
Play 5: Scramble drill
Overall, I didn’t see any evidence that Diggs was having a rough day. On this play, Allen was flushed from the pocket quickly. Diggs moved with him and was plenty open for the touchdown. We’ve seen Allen make this throw before, which I suppose only makes this sting more.
Play 6: Easy first
I wish I would have seen a few more play designs like this one. On 2nd & 7, Buffalo had everyone else pulling coverage away from Diggs. Stefon Diggs knew where the marker was and got there on time for the easy conversion.
Play 7: Another near-miss
I don’t need a summary for this one as this play and the very similar one above (and other similar ones I didn’t capture) speak to the same narrative. Stefon Diggs seemed to be pretty much his usual self, though perhaps a bit more frustrated than usual. Overall though the team was just off. This is one more throw we’re used to seeing end differently.