The seeds for some of Week 3's biggest stories were planted this offseason, back when it was unclear if there would even be a season. In this week's Debrief, I'm going to focus on some of the early decisions that got us here:
The Bills wouldn't have won Sunday without the trade for ?Stefon Diggs?. Diggs?' four catches for 49 yards and a score against the Rams don't leap off the box score -- three Bills had more receiving yards -- but Buffalo would not have defeated Los Angeles without him. Sometimes, it's not about the quantity of plays, just the quality.
Diggs beat Jalen Ramsey one-on-one for a touchdown on third and-goal from the 4-yard line, reading the field with the same eyes as Josh Allen, just before Allen got hit by Aaron Donald?. Diggs and Allen's chemistry has been remarkable for how quickly it has developed. Many of Allen's best throws this season have come out-of-structure, with Diggs understanding where his quarterback needed him to be.
In the fourth quarter, Diggs slow-played Rams corner Darious Williams?, waiting until the last moment to extend his hands on a beautiful 23-yard touch pass by Allen. On third-and-25 and with the Bills just 31 seconds away from officially gagging their biggest lead in franchise history, Diggs found a soft spot in the Rams' zone to pick up 17 yards and set up a manageable fourth down.
Diggs' ability to often draw defenders of Ramsey's caliber is part of his value. On a day when John Brown left with an injury early, Diggs' presence opened up the field for Gabriel Davis (four catches, 81 yards) and Cole Beasley (six catches for 100 yards). Unlike the rest of the Bills' pass-catchers or runners, Diggs must be game-planned for by the opposition. Through three weeks, his numbers (20 catches for 288 yards and two TDs) scream true No. 1 receiver in a way they rarely did in Minnesota, despite his superlative play. Credit general manager Brandon Beane for understanding what this Bills' offense needed -- and credit offensive coordinator Brian Daboll for having the vision to use Diggs correctly.
In his deal with the Vikings, Beane gave up a first-rounder plus a fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-round pick in exchange for Diggs and a seventh, way back on March 16. It was a steep price, but the Bills didn't need to draft another promising young player to develop. They have plenty. They needed a proven playmaker who could help their young quarterback reach his full potential now, for a playoff run. Those kinds of players are sometimes difficult to bring to Buffalo, and they are even harder to find in the draft. Allen and Daboll deserve the most credit for the 3-0 Bills' fast start to the season, but Diggs was the missing piece to their attack. He's certainly been missed in Minnesota.