The Buffalo Bills faced the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football in Week 12. The result was an instant classic, with the Bills dominating time of possession and a number of other key indicators, only to lose 37-34 in overtime. It was the latest miracle performed by Jalen Hurts and the Eagles' crunch-time buzzsaw.
With the loss, Buffalo fell to 6-6 on the season. We are well beyond the season's halfway point. Eventually, panic is the only response to the Bills' situation. A wild card spot is wholly within reach, but the Bills are supposed to be aiming higher than that.
Josh Allen is widely considered the second-best QB in the NFL behind Patrick Mahomes. He has no shortage of weapons at his disposal. Buffalo's 11th-ranked defense isn't great, but it certainly isn't bad either.
The Bills continue to fumble golden opportunities. A three-point loss to the Eagles. A two-point loss to the Broncos. A six-point loss to the Bengals. A four-point loss to the Patriots. A five-point loss to the Jaguars. And, of course, a six-point loss to the Jets on opening night. Every loss has been close, as evidenced by the Bills fourth-best rank in scoring differential. The Bills aren't getting stomped, but they are getting out-executed by quality opponents.
In today's NFL, trade rumors are the natural response to a volatile situation. Stefon Diggs was the subject of extensive media speculation over the offseason following an explosive exit from the Bills' postseason loss to the Bengals. There was more noise when Diggs became visibly frustrated during Buffalo's Week 5 loss to Jacksonville.
Diggs has remained vocally committed to Buffalo, but with each passing loss, the Bills' future gets murkier. With a potential contract out after the 2024 season, the clock is officially ticking. And now, his role within the offense appears to be dwindling.
Stefon Diggs trade rumors will continue amid Bills' struggles
Diggs managed six receptions on a hearty 11 targets in the Bills' loss to Philadelphia, but he was mysteriously absent on multiple third-down plays. NFL coaches make controversial and borderline inexplicable personnel choices all the time, but Diggs is the Bills' best pass-catcher. Heck, he's one of the best pass-catchers in the NFL. It's strange not to put him on the field in pivotal situations.
It has been over a month — Week 6, an Oct. 15 win over the New York Giants — since Diggs went for 100+ yards receiving. He's at 969 yards for the season with five games left, which is far from shabby. But, Diggs is not operating at his standard level. The trade rumors will continue, fast and furious, as a result.
That said, there's no reason to sound the alarm bells until there is tangible reporting on the matter. Diggs has weathered quite a few storms with Buffalo to date. Despite operating under an intense microscope, there is no denying Diggs' chemistry with Allen. When those two are rolling, it's hard to stop Buffalo's offense, which still ranks fourth in the NFL.
If the Bills can string together a few wins to finish the season, the noise will subside. A postseason berth would help — as would a postseason win or two. There's no doubt Buffalo has the talent to go deep, even with their less-than-spectacular record.
That said, if Buffalo's slide continues and their postseason hopes fade, Diggs will remain a target of speculation. Whether he invites it or not.