Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen sat on the podium after a 35-13 win over the Chicago Bears and tried to explain why Saturday’s offensive success came despite plenty of opportunities for superstar wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
Part of the reason Diggs and the passing seat took a backseat against the Bears was because the Bills’ running game exploded. Devin Singletary rushed for 106 yards — the first 100-yard play for a Buffalo back all season — and James Cook walked for 92. Buffalo rushed for a season-high 254 yards and no Bills receiver had more than three receptions.
“Obviously I want to involve 14 more and I have to keep doing that,” Allen said. “I’m just trying to do the smart play and throw it to the open guy, but it’s not too often that he’s not open. So, once again, find ways to give him the ball and get him more involved in our offense. He’s the best receiver in the game.”
Diggs didn’t have a single goal in the first half, and the Bills offense stumbled into the Soldier Field locker room 10-6 on a touchdown with opening possession, followed by an interception by Allen, a punt and a missed field goal.
For the past week, fans on local call-in radio shows have wondered if Diggs has been frustrated in recent games because he hasn’t had chances. After a game against the Miami Dolphins last week, Diggs threw his helmet on the bench, and FOX sideline reporter Laura Okmin said he yelled on the sidelines for me to get the ball.
Diggs addressed his alleged frustration this week by saying he would worry if a receiver didn’t want the ball.
“I respect this game to the fullest,” he said. “I feel like I want to give a spark to my team in situations like this. I want us to stay in the green and play at a high level. We have a lot of people who can do that. But when I say that, it’s more of a part of me trying to make it work and trying to stay in the mood and on schedule.
After failing to score in the first half, Allen went to Diggs in the first game of the third quarter. A quick look at the playlist in the box score shows only a modest 15-yard gain, but the Bills continued to score on that drive. Diggs set the tone and the offense returned to the end zone after faltering on its final three drives.
Allen said the Bills are best when all of the offensive guns are involved in the offensive. However, Diggs is a special talent, he said.
“We want the ball in his hands,” Allen said. “It’s no secret what kind of player and person he is. Whether it’s moving him around – the last thing I want to do is force-feed someone when it’s not there – but detail it and intrigue him, whether it’s about one, two or three, him wave, get off cover. There are so many different ways you can do this and of course I’ll be speaking to Dorse and finding out how best we can move this forward.
Allen said he understands how Diggs can get frustrated in a game when the Bills were playing the Bears. But Allen added that he’s not panicking or freaking out about the roadblock to his connection with Diggs.
“We wouldn’t be where we are now without him,” Allen said.
Diggs added earlier this week that he has big shoulders and can handle things when he’s frustrated. If the Bills win, Diggs said he’ll be a lucky man.
“I feel like an emotional player,” he said. “But I try not to make it so difficult for my team. When I say something on the sidelines, I feel like it’s justified and I feel like it’s different. It comes from a point where we’re either not doing what we should be doing or I want to do better. So I mean, there’s no way I’m looking at it. … in the end we win the game, I’m happy.”
Devin Singletary and James Cook take offense while Josh Allen fights Bears (report card)
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