Remember way back in March when the Vikings were taking universal pats on the back for the first-round bounty they received from Buffalo in the Stefon Diggs trade?
Well, the tide is shifting. Rapidly. To the point where the perception now leans toward Buffalo getting the last chuckle.
“It’s taken two weeks,” said Hall of Fame receiver and CBS NFL analyst James Lofton, who will call Sunday’s Titans-Vikings game at U.S. Bank Stadium.
So, James, what are the 0-2 Vikings specifically missing now that their formerly disgruntled wideout is living the dream with his 2-0 Bills?
“Stefon Diggs is a bully, but in a nice sense,” Lofton said. “He’s not 6-3, 215 pounds. He’s not the fastest guy. But he’s really tough. He competes hard for the ball. He does all those things that make him very quarterback-friendly.”
Kirk Cousins could use more of those. And better protection wouldn’t hurt either.
“I had the Bills-Jets game in Week 1 and Stefon caught multiple passes where he got hit hard enough to where you would have been OK with him not coming up with the catch,” Lofton said. “I saw [Cowboys receiver] Amari Cooper in Week 1 try to catch a quick out. The DB came up and dislodged him from the ball, and that was the game.
“I was thinking, ‘Man, Diggs got hit four times harder than that multiple times and each time came up with the catch.’ So there’s just something about Stefon’s toughness that leaks off to the rest of the team.”
Diggs is tied for the league lead in receiving yards with 239. The Bills have three receivers with at least 128 yards, and their six receiving touchdowns are spread among five players.
Adam Thielen leads the Vikings with 141 yards receiving. Bisi Johnson is next with 80 yards. Both of the team’s receiving touchdowns belong to Thielen. And rookie Justin Jefferson, selected with the top pick received in the Diggs trade, has five catches for 70 yards.
“When the trade happened, I was shocked that Buffalo gave up that much,” Lofton said. “But this was what Buffalo thought was the missing piece. And as rich as the wide receiver draft class was — six in the first round, seven in the second round — Buffalo wanted it right now.
“You add Diggs to John Brown and Cole Beasley, to Dawson Knox, and they’ve got a good, experienced group. And that’s what they needed for Josh Allen.”