The Buffalo Bills‘ season opener against the New York Jets delivered one of quarterback Josh Allen‘s worst performances in his career. While a win seemed inevitable after Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers was carted off on their opening drive, Buffalo took an embarrassing 22-16 overtime defeat.
The Bills $258 million star completed 29-for-41 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown, but committed three interceptions, all of them caught by Jets safety Jordan Whitehead, and lost fumble.
Allen, who led the league in interceptions last season, was visibly frustrated during the game, during which Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs came over to give his QB1 a pep talk.
Video of their sideline chat was caught on camera and quickly went viral on X, formerly known as Twitter. Viewers loved seeing Diggs have his teammate’s back, lifting him up when when the quarterback appeared to be his losing confidence. 13WHAM’s Dan Fetes posted the clip and wrote, “(He was doing this kind of stuff ALL NIGHT on the #Bills sideline).”
Like Allen, Diggs was once again voted as team captain this year, and the three-time Pro Bowler is not taking the title for granted. He told The Buffalo News just before the 2023 NFL season kicked off, “This is my fourth year with the Buffalo Bills, and this is my third star I got. I got named a captain again. So, it means a lot to me.”
“It means more now,” Diggs continued. “When it first happens, it’s like you’re wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, like, ‘Damn, my teammates admire my work ethic and respect me.’ And now at this point, building off that, it’s like I’m earning that respect each and every year, to be a leader and be somebody that they can count on for leadership. And that’s on and off the field, as far as how you lead by example. I wanted to do everything right. And be a baller.”
Stefon Diggs Was Criticized for His ‘Be Smart’ Comment to Josh Allen
While the bulk of fans and analysts loved seeing Diggs give Allen a pep talk, NFL Hall of Famer turned sportscaster Michael Irvin thought his “Be Smart” comment was completely out of line.
During Tuesday’s episode of “Undisputed,” Irvin ripped both Diggs and Bills head coach Sean McDermott for messing with Allen’s confidence, which he believes caused him to throw so many deep balls in double coverage.
“Another problem I have with Diggs and his head coach is because I know darn well Troy Aikman would have bust me in the mouth every time. You know the camera is on you all day,” said Irvin.
“I keep seeing Diggs and the head coach look at the quarterback,” Irving said, while making Diggs’ head tap geesture. “Stop telling that man, ‘Be smart, be smart,’ because you’re telling everybody else, ‘He’s dumb, he’s dumb, he’s dumb.’ Stop doing that!” Troy would have called me into a room and hit me in my mouth and I would have said, ‘Thank you Troy you are right.’ Stop messing with this man’s [Allen’s] confidence.”
However, when former NFL cornerback Richard Sherman appeared on the show, he begged for Allen’s teammates and coaches to hold him accountable for his mistakes.
Despite Josh Allen’s Miscues, Stefon Diggs Still Had a Great Game
While there aren’t many positive things to say about the Bills Week 1 loss, Diggs showed that he’s still the best receiver on the team. He led in receptions, finishing with 10 catches for 102 yards and a touchdown.
Allen has a lot of work to do before the Bills’ home opener against the Las Vegas Raiders on September 17, but Diggs and his teammates will be there help get their leader back on track.
“It’s never on one player,” wide receiver Gabe Davis told The Buffalo News. “It’s definitely not on 17. Feel like Week 1, we had a tough game today, but we’ll shake back and get back. Just trying to get in a rhythm; we found that sometimes, and sometimes we were kind of offbeat, so we just have to find a way to stay in the rhythm.”
Center Mitch Morse told the outlet, “Josh is the unequivocal leader of his team. He’s also the hardest on himself, and we have nothing but love and trust in Josh, and it’s not on him. I mean, I know for one of those interceptions was my fault.”