With success comes reward and the Buffalo Bills have been a prime example of that this season after going 13-3 in the regular season, winning their first AFC East title since 1995, and making a trip to the AFC Championship for the first time since 1994.
In a recent article, Pro Football Focus’ named the Top 101 players from the 2020 NFL season and four Bills were named to the list after being unranked the year before.
Quarterback Josh Allen (No. 13), wide receivers Stefon Diggs (No. 16) and Cole Beasley (No. 75), and offensive tackle Dion Dawkins (No. 83) all made the list for the Bills. Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, and Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davatae Adams rounded up the Top 5.
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Josh Allen had his Best Season Yet
In his first three years in the NFL, Allen has been improving significantly and his jump from year two to three was astounding. He improved in almost every statistical passing category, completing 69.2% of his passes for 4,544 yards and 37 touchdowns while only throwing 10 interceptions. He recorded a 107.2 quarterback rating and ran for 421 yards and eight touchdowns.
But, his statistics don’t paint the complete picture as his decision-making significantly improved as well. With a hot start, he quickly forced his name into the NFL MVP conversation and finished second in voting this season.
“One of the most incredible improvements of any player in the league, Josh Allen went from being a quarterback with incredible tools who flashed the occasional big-play ability to a genuine All-Pro caliber quarterback who was making incredible plays on a weekly basis,” Pro Football Focus said during their article. “Josh Allen also remarkably went from 30th in adjusted completion rate in 2019 to sixth in that metric this season, becoming one of the most accurate passers in football after struggling badly with that in college and early in his NFL career.”
Allen threw for over 300 yards nine times this season and threw for three or more touchdowns six times this season and in a breakout season.
Diggs Proved Himself in Buffalo
Diggs proved what he was capable of in Minnesota during the first five years of his career. But, the Vikings started to gear their offense towards running the ball and PFF said Diggs wanted out of Minnesota because of it.
“Diggs wanted out of Minnesota because he didn’t believe that the Vikings would ever give him the kind of workload he felt his play deserves,” Pro Football Focus stated in their article. “And he was thoroughly vindicated by his first season in Buffalo.”
The former Maryland receiver led the league in receiving yards (1,535), targets (162), and receptions (127). It was the best season of his career as he tallied career-highs in every statistical category other than touchdowns. He caught eight this past season, which was one shy of his 2018 total of nine.
Adams and Vikings rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson were the only two receivers to finish higher than Diggs in PFF’s list. When the Bills traded for Diggs they gave up their 2020 first-round pick and the Vikings used it to draft Jefferson at No. 22 overall.
Beasley Was One of the Best Slot Receivers in 2020
In his first year in Buffalo last season, Beasley had one of his best seasons to date, but he topped that performance this season and recorded 82 catches for 967 yards and four touchdowns during the regular season. He also became the only slot receiver to record 1,000 receiving yards between the regular and postseason this year.
He also battled through a broken fibula in the final weeks of the season and throughout the playoffs. He was big for both Allen and the Bills as they put together a historic season.
Dion Dawkins Solidified the Offensive Line
Dawkins was one of Sean McDermott’s first picks as the head coach of the Bills and he’s proved to be one of their franchise cornerstones. He protected Allen’s blindside this season as the offensive line went through several changes due to injuries throughout the year, but he was one of the most consistent pieces.
Buffalo’s franchise left tackle had another impressive season, finishing the year with an overall PFF grade of 80.6, the second time in his career he has broken 80. Dion Dawkins had PFF grades of at least 75 in both pas protection and as a run blocker and was the embodiment of solid when blocking on Josh Allen’s blindside.