The Inaugural ‘Vikings Win!’ Series piece: Cause we have to come through the failure to find the success…
What a crazy game.
The Indianapolis Colts entered Saturday’s Wildcard game against the Buffalo Bills as a dead team walking. No one outside of the second best -apolis gave the white and blue a shot to top the high powered Bills with their breakout superstar quarterback Josh Allen and some other player not worth mentioning.
When news of the Diggs trade broke last off-season, I thought that Diggs got his just dessert. Josh Allen? Who couldn’t hit a … Buffalo Wing with… sauce from 20-yards (or more) away?
Come to think of it, no one could do that. Josh Allen? Who couldn’t hit… The point is that Allen had some issues with the deep ball (or any length of ball).
It became evident pretty early on that 2020 Allen was a completely different player, though. Perhaps it was his off-season with Diggs, or the natural progression of his skillset, or perhaps it’s the fact that god hates the Vikings and so of course things worked out for Diggs.
That’s not to say that things also didn’t work out for the Vikings in this instance, it’s my humble opinion that they are by far the winners of the Diggs for Jefferson (& others) trade. Jefferson is the better receiver, he’s younger, hasn’t shown the sort of quirks Diggs has, he also has been healthy thus far in his career (where as Diggs missed two-to-three games a season for awhile).
But, and I’m not proud saying this; I really wanted them to lose today. It’s sour grapes, it’s weird of me, I get all that. But, I really more wanted to see what would happen if the Bills were one-and-done this season.
First, Diggs had a great game today. He had over 120 yards on like… All the receptions, and a touchdown. So, he probably would’ve been happy as he clearly both wants (and arguably needs) all the balls more than all the wins (hence the helmet through last year at this time in a game they were leading in and won against the Saints because Diggs wasn’t more involved).
But had the Bills lost and Diggs wasn’t the focal point?
That’s a fun reality that I someday would like to inhabit. Instead, though, the Bills won and Diggs seems happy. Like Adrian Peterson before him, Diggs clearly is only an elite receiver when he gets the majority of the attention, not just at his position, but also in terms of the game plan.
Think of the Herculean effort the Vikings and Kirk Cousins went through to get Diggs his first 1,000-yard season in 2018. He had less catches and more yards in 2019, but that was as the only real wide receiver on the roster for most of the season (as Adam Thielen was nursing a hammy).
Look at what Jefferson did this season with around the same amount of grabs as Diggs 2019. Better yet? Take Diggs 1,535 yards on 127 catches and input Jefferson’s per catch average (88 grabs for 1,400 yards)? That’d make Jefferson the first and only receiver with 2,000 yards receiving.
That’s why the Vikings won this trade. Jefferson doesn’t require the lion’s share of the balls to be effective (and I mean that both in terms of his play and emotions). Diggs, clearly does, and even when the Vikings eventually move on from Zimmer and hire some young offensive minded head coach, there’ll only be so many balls to go around this offense as currently constructed.
That’s why I’m starting the ‘Vikings Won’ series with this aspect of the Vikings 2021. Because we saw a great game from Diggs today on a team that clearly needed him, but I also know that as things progress and the Bills add more weapons, he’ll look at everyone of the additions as both a threat (to him getting his, hence his aversion to the Vikings’ run first philosophy) and a betrayal by the team (hence his reaction to the run-first offense).
What else did the Vikings win in 2020? Stay tuned to find out! It’s not a long list, so, if you’ve got any ideas for another series let me know cause I am OUT.