Two weeks in a row the Bills traveled to Detroit and two weeks in a row left with a win despite not playing their best football.
While many players on both sides of the ball contributed to this week’s 28-25 Thanksgiving victory over the Lions, in the clutch Bills quarterback Josh Allen and receiver Stefon Diggs, delivered again.
With less than 10 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, the Bills found themselves down 22-19 and knew it was go-time.
As we’ve seen time and time again, Allen found a way to get Diggs the ball consistently and the Bills took the three-point lead thanks to a TD from 17 to 14. Unfortunately, kicker Tyler Bass missed the extra point.
That allowed a game-tying field goal by Detroit and the Lions made it a 25-25 score.
Allen/Diggs and the Bills once again drove down the field, this time getting it in field goal range for Tyler Bass to deliver what was ultimately the game winner.
Following the final whistle, Allen and Diggs were seen embracing on the sideline in a moment that looked like a mixture of both jubilation and relief.
Allen was asked by CBS sideline reporter, Tracy Wolfson, what the biggest difference was on the final two drives.
“Throw it to 1-4,” Allen said with a smile looking to his favorite target. “Throw it to 1-4. Trusted what I was seeing. Dorsey was trusting us out there. That’s really all it was. Guys making plays, just trying to win a football game.”
Similarly, Diggs was asked what happened at the end of the game. Diggs said it wasn’t too difficult to figure out. It starts and ends with Allen.
“I would say it’s not me at all. I got the best quarterback in the league,” Diggs said. “Anytime we hit a lull, it’s like his eyes are locked in, he’s focused. I try to be that support system, you know, be his receiver, catch the ball, get open like he always tell me. And that’ll bring some energy. You know, get my guy going, that’s my guy man. When in doubt, I’m riding with 17.”
"I have the best quarterback in the league."
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) November 24, 2022
After their on-field interview, Allen expanded on his thoughts regarding Diggs and how the Bills were able to find rhythm in an offense that again seemed to struggle to find its footing earlier in the game.
“Just trusting what we’re seeing. Dore (offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey) was trusting our guys. A lot of Stef and we’re just gonna keep feeding him there,” Allen told the media during his postgame press conference. “You know, he was in a groove there, guys were blocking well. Again, just found a way to drive down the field and get in the end zone and you know, sometimes those games happen. It’s tough to win in this league. I’m just proud of our guys for battling through it.”
While it’s easy say the right things after you have time to compose yourself following an emotional win, sometimes the raw moments, like we say with Allen and Diggs on the sideline, tell more of story.
This bromance is beautiful 🥲 pic.twitter.com/IUA2NPs5PE
— Bradley Gelber (@BradleyGelber) November 25, 2022
When asked to share what his message was after the win, Diggs was candid.
“Rejoice, like I try to tell the guys, everything in the past is the past,” Diggs told reporters. “We didn’t get off to the best start, but you just keep rolling with the punches. Things aren’t going to be perfect. You know, I’m riding with my guy. We just had to try to get on the same page. You know, every week is different. It’s like reinventing yourself, but you got the same mindset. Going into that game we wanted to execute at a high level. Things didn’t happen perfect, but we figured it out.”
Diggs, who is known for being animated on the sideline after big moments (both good and bad) said playing with Allen makes those moments all the easier.
“Josh, Josh is just that quarterback you rally behind,” Diggs continued. “Things don’t go right, o well get over it. We got another play. We got another half. We got another quarter. Whatever it is, rallying behind him is easy, especially for me because I see how much effort and how much time he puts into his craft, so I’m just thankful.”
What exactly was said in that moment between the two? All love according to the receiver.
“Love you. I say it all the time, but that’s like my real sibling. My little, big brother. He’s huge and all, but that’s still my little brother, Diggs said. “I can tell that he has that energy that’s contagious and I never want him, never want him to display bad body language. He’s so hard on himself because he’s a great player, so him being hard on himself I’m always telling him that, ‘chin up. We ready. It’s ok forget about it.’ And kind of giving him that positive energy because it’s hard being quarterback, I imagine. And as much as I get frustrated, I know his job is hard. I look at it as after the game, rejoice. You know, we came out on top. Let’s get the ball rolling. Let’s get back to having fun again. Cause I felt like we got away from that a little bit. This is a child’s game. So I tell him that, ‘I love you. Let’s get back to having fun and let’s go back with a win.'”
While their recent stretch of football hasn’t been the prettiest, the Bills now sit at 8-3 and are (at least temporarily) back atop the division. While cliche, all wins count the same and knowing that in big moments their stars deliver, has to instill confidence in the team as whole. Something the Bills will need as they come down the stretch and head towards the playoffs.