These Bills deserve our vote
Heading into their bye week, the Buffalo Bills are 7-3 and in first place in the AFC East division. The last time that Buffalo held sole possession of first place in the division after ten games was 1995, which was Jim Kelly’s penultimate season in Orchard Park. That year, the Bills sent three players to the Pro Bowl—special teams ace Steve Tasker, defensive end Bruce Smith, and the Defensive Player of the Year, linebacker Bryce Paup.
The current Bills squad could see a few Pro Bowl reps, as well. In honor of the opening of Pro Bowl voting, here are five Bills who deserve our vote for the Pro Bowl this season. Hopefully, they won’t be able to play thanks to preparations for another game in February, but receiving the honor would be outstanding nonetheless.
QB Josh Allen
Man, how far we’ve come with Buffalo’s third-year quarterback. It’s been exciting to watch the raw tools that Allen possesses begin to coalesce into a legitimate starting quarterback, and the next step in his development has led him to this point. Allen has begun to show signs of belonging in the league’s best at his position, and through ten games, he ranks at or near the top of virtually every important passing category. He leads the league in passing yards with 2,871, and he’s in the top ten in passing touchdowns, passer rating, yards per attempt, completions, attempts, and completion percentage. How’s that for not being an accurate passer, eh? Allen also leads the league in total offense at this point with 3,084 combined passing, rushing, and receiving yards. In what has been an excellent season, a Pro Bowl appearance could be one of a few cherries on top.
WR Stefon Diggs
Buffalo’s top wideout is the NFL leader in targets (102), receptions (73), and receiving yards (906) so far. While Diggs only has four receiving touchdowns, he’s on pace to set a franchise record for receptions, needing to make it to 101 to surpass Eric Moulds’s 2002 season total, and he’ll even challenge for the receiving yardage record, as well. Moulds also holds that, having gained 1,368 yards in 1998. Diggs is a near shoo-in at this point, and it will be a well-deserved honor.
LT Dion Dawkins
Buffalo’s large left tackle signed a big contract in the offseason, and he has been exceptional all year long. Protecting the blindside of a mobile quarterback is no easy task, especially when the offensive coordinator continuously calls rollouts to that passer’s weak-hand side. Dawkins has improved tremendously this year, cutting down both his penalties and his sacks allowed. In 2019, Dawkins committed 11 penalties and allowed four sacks. This year, he has committed just one penalty and allowed three sacks so far. While he will probably surpass that sack number, an increase in passing volume this year suggests that Allen will be sacked more often than he was last year. The improvement in penalties is huge, and Dawkins has played like a top-end left tackle all year long.
CB Tre’Davious White
I know, I know—White is having a “down year” this year. He didn’t listen to Tom Jackson on Sunday, either, where all he had to do was “just knock it down” and the Bills would be 8-2 instead of 7-3. I’m not in White’s head, so I don’t know if he was trying for an interception or not, but head coach Sean McDermott seems to believe that may have been the case, as he was adamant that someone needed to “knock it down” in that scenario. In any case, White’s “down year” still shows this line: a 54.5% completion percentage against, one interception, half a sack, and 36 tackles. White has allowed three touchdowns, a career most, with one being the miraculous Hail Mary that ended Sunday’s loss against the Arizona Cardinals. However, White has played like a number-one corner this year, as he has been in position to make plays more often than not.
I spent much of the offseason advocating for Buffalo to release Roberts. I was wrong. The veteran has swung a few games by giving the Bills excellent field position, and he is currently averaging 29.1 yards per kickoff return and 11.8 yards per punt return. That’s good for third and fourth in the league, respectively. Roberts is still an elite return option, and he should be rewarded with another trip to the Pro Bowl.