The fire burning inside Stefon Diggs continues to set ablaze opposing secondaries, which continued during the Vikings’ 19-9 victory over Washington on Thursday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Redskins became the latest team to watch Diggs sprint past its cornerbacks and safeties for game-changing gains.
Diggs catapulted the Vikings to their fourth consecutive victory — each with more than 400 yards of offense — while his three-game production has now surpassed Vikings legend Randy Moss. Diggs’ 453 receiving yards the past three games broke Moss’ three-game franchise record of 446 yards, set in 2001.
But the fire Diggs referenced postgame, after his seven-catch, 143-yard night, was not about his own passion, but about the Vikings’ 2-2 start after which he was frustrated and skipped team meetings, a practice and incurred over $200,000 in fines.
“Things are going good, but it was at a point where things weren’t going good,” said Diggs, who strangely posted the same receiving statistics — seven catches, 143 yards, no touchdowns and a fumble — that he did in Sunday’s victory at Detroit. “The house was burning down and everyone was panicking. So, at this point, we’re just taking it one day at a time and try to keep this going.”
Much like the Vikings’ season so far, Diggs overcame early troubles against Washington. His fourth fumble of the season — and third lost — negated a 32-yard catch-and-run on the opening drive of the game. The next chance was almost the same play: a quick slant caught in stride for 34 yards; this time, Diggs wrapped both arms around the ball before he was tackled.
Not even Washington’s top cornerback, Josh Norman, had much of a chance. He covered Diggs on a go route when quarterback Kirk Cousins threw a 39-yard strike between Norman and safety Jeremy Reaves. Diggs held onto the catch despite an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit by Reaves, who suffered a concussion and left the game following the play.
“I’ve seen it 1,000 times — not 1,000, but I’ve seen it plenty of times,” Vikings rookie receiver Olabisi Johnson said. “I expect him to come down with it. He makes big plays. That’s why he’s here.”
Diggs’ workload — seven targets — remained the same despite receiver Adam Thielen being sidelined by a hamstring injury. Diggs still produced, and the Vikings still won. That combination worked wonders for the Vikings’ four-win October.
But Diggs tried to keep things in perspective, pointing to his fumbling issue when asked about breaking Moss’ three-game receiving record with the Vikings. He didn’t make grand proclamations about his recent No. 1 role in the offense or breaking records in the future.
“You just never know how games are going to come up,” Diggs said. “I’m just happy we got the win.”