The Buffalo Bills steamrolled over the Tennessee Titans 41-7 on Monday Night Football, and while several starters were out, quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs‘ stellar performances led the team to victory.
Diggs spoke to Heavy Sports in an exclusive interview following his record-breaking night against the Titans. The two-time Pro Bowler needed 11 receptions to tie for the most receptions through a player’s first 35 games with a team, per Elias Sports, and Diggs smashed it, finishing the game with 12 receptions for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns.
However, the 28-year-old wouldn’t be outplaying the opposing team’s entire offense without Allen. Diggs, who appears to be able to read the quarterback’s mind, said his relationship and chemistry with No. 17 has “100%” made him a better player.
“The first time I met him, that was my guy. I knew it. He told me, ‘Get open and catch the ball.’ That’s all I asked you. And I was like, all right, well, s***, doesn’t seem too hard. I’ll try my best,” Diggs told Heavy Sports. “But as far as like, just the relationship of him, always having my back, he gives you that confidence as a receiver, that your quarterback can make things happen in that position.
“So you want to be able to try to make plays for him, get him comfortable, get him in a good space because once he’s comfortable, boy, he’s hard to stop.”
Part of the reason Allen is so unstoppable is that he’s a true dual-threat. While how often a quarterback should run the ball has come under major scrutiny, Diggs doesn’t get nervous when the team’s $258 million franchise star takes the game into his own hands, nor would he ever tell Allen to stop running the ball.
“He’s bigger than probably the people that’s chasing after him in that tail end,” Diggs said. “So, I’m never too concerned. I want him to get down sometimes, but it’s part of his game. Sometimes he wanted to deliver a little bit of a blow or jump over a guy. It gets the team going, though. So, something I won’t ever tell him to not be himself.”
With Gabe Davis ruled out, Allen, who completed 26-of-38 passes for 317 yards and 4 touchdowns, targeted Diggs 14 times with a 40% accuracy which is double the normal rate, per The Athletic.
Diggs Opened Up CB Dane Jackson’s ‘Gut-Wrenching’ Hit
The Bills’ victory over the Titans was bittersweet as cornerback Dane Jackson suffered a gruesome hit to the head just before halftime and exited the field in an ambulance. While head coach Sean McDermott described the moment as surreal, Diggs opened up to Heavy Sports about how he felt after Jackson went down and how was able to get his mind back in the game.
“As much as we love football and we live and die by football, but in moments like that, it’s not about football,” Diggs said. “It’s about the guys, it’s about the person. And, you know, we just praying for safety. We hate to see guys get hurt. And you know it’s part of football, but you hate to see it happen.
“We’ve heard that he’s stable right now. He’s okay. That’s something that we at least, are appreciative and thanking God for. So, you know, this team, isn’t just a team. We really are family. We really do be pulling for each other. We spend a lot of time with each other, you know, imagine there’s so many things to do in Buffalo, but we really support one another. So, to see a guy go down, it definitely is a little bit gut-wrenching.”
While recalibrating after Jackson’s hit seemed impossible, Diggs said he just thought about what the cornerback would want. “When that whistle blow, he wouldn’t want you to be out there bull********. Dane wouldn’t want you to be out there not making plays and not doing your job. So going out there with the right mindset of, you know, just keep playing for 30. He’s gonna shake back. You’ll see him soon.”
Diggs Holds a Very High Standard for the Bills’ Rookies
While Diggs is on track for another Pro Bowl season, he’s crushing it off the field, as well. He partnered up with Snickers’ “Rookie Mistake of the Year” promotion for the second year in a row, which gives fans a chance to win two tickets to Super Bowl 57, “a little postgame action on the field,” Diggs said, along with merchandise and gift cards.
In order to win, fans must submit a video, photo, or written examples of their Rookie Mistakes on snickers.com/rookiemistake — the more embarrassing, the better, Diggs said. “You get rewarded for making mistakes.”
However, the team captain holds a very different standard for the Bills’ rookies. While Diggs got into a few fights with new young guns throughout training camp, it’s tough love — an attempt to get them NFL-ready, Diggs told Heavy Sports.
“I have confidence in them. I tell ’em all the time… You’re getting a good look at some okay talent in practice that you might not see in the game, you might see in the game. And if it does, it’s preparing you the best way you can be. So, win, lose, or draw, you’re sharpening your blade.”
One particular rookie that has stood out from the pack is cornerback Christian Benford, who earned the starting role over the team’s first-round pick from the 2022 NFL draft, Kaiir Elam.
“I don’t even call him by his name when you’re a rookie, you don’t get a name, but 47 (Benford), He’s a dog out there. I like 47. Kaiir has been stepping up too. But I like 47, he’s my guy.”