1. Michael Vick believes that the Bills are a true contender in the AFC
Under Sean McDermott, the Bills have made the playoffs three out of the past four seasons. The biggest difference between the first two years the Bills were playing in the postseason and this year is average points per game. In 2017, the Bills averaged 17.9 PPG which ranked 27th in the league and in 2019 they averaged 19.6 PPG which ranked 23rd. This season the Bills are averaging 29.7 PPG through 15 games which ranks sixth in the NFL. The Bills lead the league in points per game increased from 2019 to 2020 with 10.1 points. The jump in points is due in part to the performance of Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs and why former Pro Bowl quarterback Michael Vick said on Undisputed why he thinks the Bills are a real threat in the AFC come playoff time.
"They are a real contender on both sides of the ball, Vick said. "I think just Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs that connection is clicking right now. When you are clicking like that you can beat anybody, you can destroy any defense I don't care what coverage they're in or what type of looks they present. You can find ways to manipulate the defense and Stefon Diggs is just a game-changer. Josh Allen, the things he's been able to do as far as mobility in the pocket, and outside of the pocket has made him what he is and that's a premium player and a Pro Bowler in the National Football League… So, it's all about how things align for this team. Definitely poised in a position to put themselves where they can compete in the AFC Championship Game and it all starts with Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs."
2. AJ Epenesa grateful for the veteran leadership in the locker room
From the virtual NFL Draft to a condensed training camp and no preseason games, this year's rookie class has seen an unprecedented start to their NFL careers. Bills 2020 second-round pick A.J. Epenesa has been showing improvements in his game week after week and he knows he is just at the start of his NFL journey. Epenesa has the luxury of having multiple seasoned veterans on the roster and in the defensive line room that he can lean on. Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison, Quinton Jefferson, Vernon Butler and Trent Murphy have a combined 38 years of NFL knowledge and experience that they can impart on the rookie. Epenesa touched on how the veteran mentors in the locker room have helped him out through his rookie season.
"It's been really great," Epenesa stated. "Just to have guys like Mario, Jerry, Trent and the list goes on just in the defensive line room. Just to have those guys in the room with me to be able to take me under their wing and teach me this and teach me that and advise me on this and advise me on that. It's been a big blessing just to have them be there to help influence me in a positive way and help nudge me along in the right direction."
Scroll through to see the best photos from Buffalo's practice as they prepare for Week 17 against the Miami Dolphins, presented by Dunn Tire.
3. Bucky Brooks ranks Stefon Diggs as the second-best wide receiver in the NFL
NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks ranked his top five wide receivers in the league. Stefon Diggs was ranked second on his list just under Davante Adams of the Packers. This season, Diggs has rewritten the Bills history books and can still accomplish more in Week 17. He currently leads the NFL in receptions (120) and yards (1,459) and no Bills wide receiver has ever been able to accomplish either of those feats. Here is what Brooks had to say about Diggs and his extraordinary first year with Buffalo:
No. 2. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
2020 stats: 15 games | 120 rec | 1,459 rec yds | 12.2 ypc | 8 rec TD
Perhaps Diggs had to move to Western New York for the football world to appreciate his greatness as a playmaker extraordinaire in the passing game. The sixth-year pro has crushed his debut season with the Bills -- to whom he was traded by the Vikings in the offseason -- displaying a well-rounded game that deserves appreciation. He is an A+ route runner with exceptional stop-start quickness and creativity. Diggs consistently separates from defenders at the top of his routes, and that space has enabled Josh Allen to find him whenever the Bills need a critical play in the passing game. As a crafty No. 1 receiver with the capacity to lead the league in catches (he ranks first so far) and receiving yards (where he also ranks first) while also producing enough big plays (20 receptions of 20-plus yards) to keep defenders honest, Diggs is the perfect anchor to a dynamic passing game.