The Buffalo Bills offense was a slog through the first two quarters of Sunday night's tilt against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then Josh Allen began slinging the pigskin toward Stefon Diggs, over and over and over and over again.
The star receiver awoke a slumbering offense, and the Bills stormed to a 26-15 victory over the Steelers.
"I started completing it to the right guys and my guys did a good job of getting open," said Allen of the second half, via the team's official website. "But I think you saw right when we came out that I started getting it to 1-4 (Diggs). We liked our matchup out there and I can say with a lot of confidence, I think I like any matchup with 1-4. He's one of the best, if not the best guy in the league, but I have supreme confidence in him."
After the offense put up just three points in the first half, including three three-and-outs, Allen came out firing to Diggs in the third quarter. The Bills scored TDs on back-to-back drives to open the second half, which buried the Steelers.
Diggs had six targets with three receptions for 38 yards in the first half. In the second half, he caught seven of eight targets for 92 yards and a TD. In the third quarter alone, Diggs caught all six of his targets for 83 yards and a TD.
"All he wants to do is help his team win football games. He's a competitor and we have very similar mindsets. I love the guy," Allen said. "He goes out there and competes his tail off and I'm just super blessed that we traded for him."
Diggs' 10 catches Sunday night put him at 100 on the season for 1,167 yards, setting a new career-high in yards. He needs 202 receiving yards in the final three games to surpass Eric Moulds (1,368 in 1998) for the most receiving yards in a single season in Bills franchise history.
Diggs leads the NFL with 100 receptions, which ties Moulds' franchise single-season record of 100 (set in 2002). No Bills player has led the NFL in receptions in a single season.
In prime time, the wideout showed he is a go-to difference-maker who can lift all boats and should be named among the elite receivers in the game.
"Diggs is so special that as I see him play I just want to rip off my captain's 'C' and put it on his chest," said offensive tackle Dion Dawkins. "He's a stud man. He grinds and just continues to outperform and outshine everyone and prove that he's the guy. Stefon Diggs, he's gritty. That's our teammate and we love him and we're blessed to have him here."
The trade from Minnesota was the rare swap that worked out for all parties. The Vikings are happy to have rookie Justin Jefferson with the first-round pick. And the Bills couldn't be more thrilled to have Diggs' spearheading a playoff-bound squad.
Diggs became the first player since Brandon Marshall in 2015 with the New York Jets (109) to have 100-plus receptions in his first season with a new team. Diggs needs 19 catches in the last three games to break Marshall's record in 2012 (118, with Chicago) for most all-time in a wideout's first season with a new team. Diggs and Marshall (2012) are the only players in NFL history to have 100-plus catches in their first 13 games with a new team.
Diggs' big day not only pushed Buffalo closer to its first AFC East title since 1995, it officially ended the New England Patriots' 11-year death grip on the division. The Bills' victory, moving them to 10-3, officially eliminated the Patriots (6-7) from the division race.