Diggs' leadership evident in the win
Sometimes, it can be tough to quantify leadership or even spot it in the moment. But Sunday, with the Bills down 10-6 and the offense needing to show a sign of life, there occurred a tangible moment on the Buffalo sideline.
Head coach Sean McDermott and wide receiver Stefon Diggs shared a conversation lasting nearly 20 seconds on the sidelines a few minutes before halftime. McDermott put his arm around Diggs — who had been held without a catch — and offered a reassuring message.
"Stef is one of our leaders so I just wanted to offer a couple words of encouragement and settle everyone down," McDermott said. "I thought Stef did a great job of taking that message and running with it and putting his own signature on it."
On the very next Bills' drive, Diggs was wide open in the endzone for a 5-yard score — his 8th of the season — as part of the team's stretch of 25 unanswered points. Diggs finished the day with 4 catches for 48 yards and became the fastest receiver in Bills history to record 1,000+ yards receiving in a single season (10 games).
Although he did not see the interaction take place up in the booth, OC Ken Dorsey said Diggs' leadership — no matter the situation — is something he can count on and it helps make the Bills a better team.
"As somebody who gets guys going, and as a motivator, as truly like a spark for us, and truly like kind of the fire that the offense kind of burns around," Dorsey said. "He's just that type of personality, that type of guy. He's as competitive as anybody out there. Those things are things that as an offense you feed off of."
Von Miller surprises Leslie Frazier
LB Von Miller has made a habit each week to wear a shirt in pregame warmups honoring and supporting past and present players and coaches who have had an impact on the Bills franchise. During Sunday's warmups, Miller and many of the players on the Buffalo defense wore shirts with Leslie Frazier on the front.
It was a gesture that caught Frazier, who was nominated for the Black College Football Hall of Fame last week, by surprise.
"When Von showed me that shirt the night before the game, I was like, 'wow'," Frazier shared. "You talk about humbling. And then to see our players wearing that shirt, just very, very humbling and emotional at the same time."
And of course, Miller gave Frazier one of the shirts the night before the game.
"I was walking through the lobby of the hotel, and he had a box and he said, 'Coach come over, I want to show you something'," Frazier described. "And I saw him opening up the box and he pulls out the t-shirt and shows it to me. Really caught me off guard and I guess he handed them out to the players over the course of the night."
Bills control run game on both sides to beat Browns
On Sunday against the Browns, the Bills' rushing attack finally had the breakthrough it had been hoping for as Devin Singletary and James Cook each had 86 yards on the ground. It was a career-high for the rookie and a season-high for the veteran Singletary.
The rushing duo was also able to generate explosive plays, combining for six runs of 10 or more yards.
Dorsey explained that he had confident the team's running backs to make plays and it was especially helpful for the rest of the offense as Allen was limited to a season-low seven yards on he ground.
"I think we can be explosive in a lot of different ways," Dorsey said. "Explosiveness just comes from execution. If you execute, then you have a chance to be explosive no matter what the play call is, and I think that's what it comes down to more often than not."
On the other side of the ball, Buffalo's defense made life difficult for the Browns which came into the matchup as the fifth-best running team in the NFL. RB Nick Chubb was held to a season-low 1.4 yards per rush (19 yards on 14 carries) and kept him out of the end zone for the first time since Oct. 16.
After a stretch where Buffalo's run defense hadn't been its strength, Frazier hopes that Sunday's performance carry over to this week's Thanksgiving matchup against the Lions which just had four rushing TDs against the Giants in their 31-18 road win.
"We're going to have our hands full being able to carry over some of the things we did yesterday into this ball game. But we got to bring that same type of attitude and really carry that chip on our shoulder when it comes to the run game," Frazier said.
Injury updates on short week
With the team on a condensed schedule this week due to Thursday's game, the Bills held a walk-through at the facility on Monday.
The full injury report can be found here, but head coach Sean McDermott provided additional updates during his press conference.
LB Tremaine Edmunds (groin/heel) and DE A.J. Epenesa (ankle) will "be a stretch" for their chances to suit up this week and neither player practiced Monday. Edmunds was injured during the Vikings game in Week 10 and Epenesa left Sunday's game against the Browns.
CB Kaiir Elam, who has missed the last two games with an ankle injury, is "moving in the right direction" according to McDermott and was a full participant on Monday.
Bills fans have traveled to Detroit to support their team. This gallery is presented by SnapDragon Apples.