The seeds for some of the biggest stories from Week 3 were planted this season, when it was unclear if there would be any at all. be season. In this week’s description, I will focus on some of the early decisions that brought us here:
The Beals would not have won on Sunday without trading with Stephen Diggs. Diggs’ four catches for 49 yards and a score against the Aries didn’t jump out of the box – three Bills had more yards to win – but Buffalo wouldn’t have beaten Los Angeles without him. Sometimes it’s not about the quantity of the plays, it̵
Diggs beat Jalen Ramsey one-on-one for a touch of third and a goal from the 4-yard line, reading the field with the same eyes as Josh Allen, just before Allen was hit by Aaron Donald. Diggs and Allen’s chemistry is remarkable for how fast it has evolved. Many of Allen’s best throws this season went beyond the structure, and Diggs knew where his quarterback was supposed to be.
In the fourth quarter, Diggs slowly played the corner of Rams Darios Williams, waiting until the last minute to reach out with a beautiful pass from 23 yards to Allen. On the third and 25th and with the bills just 31 seconds from their official biggest lead in franchise history, Diggs found a soft spot in the Rams zone to take 17 yards and put a manageable fourth down.
Diggs’ ability to often paint defenders of Ramsey’s caliber is part of his worth. The day John Brown left with an injury early, Diggs’ presence opened the way for Gabriel Davis (four catches, 81 yards) and Cole Beasley (six catches for 100 yards). Unlike other Bills passback hunters or runners, Diggs must be scheduled for play by the opposition. In three weeks, his numbers (20 catches for 288 yards and two TDs) scream real receiver No1 in a way they rarely did in Minnesota, despite his superb play. Credit general manager Brandon Bean to find out what it takes to violate this bill – and credit offensive coordinator Brian Daball for the vision to use Diggs properly.
In his deal with the Vikings, Bean gave up the first round plus the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds in exchange for Diggs and the seventh, on March 16. It was a steep price, but the accounts did not need to be developed by another promising young player to develop. They have a lot. They needed a proven playmaker to help their young quarterback reach his full potential now, for the playoffs. Such players are sometimes difficult to bring to Buffalo, and even more difficult to find in the project. Alan and Dabol deserve the most credit for quickly starting the 3-0 accounts for the season, but Diggs was the missing piece for their attack. He was certainly missed in Minnesota.
Trent Williams is Cam Newton of the NFC. Much has been written about how the entire NFL – including the Patriots – doesn’t particularly want Cam Newton. If it’s a crime against football to allow Bill Belichick to take another quarterback franchise for the price of Hoyer, how about the rest of the NFL, which allows the most talented and toughest team in football to acquire the worst left-handers for peanuts?
The 49ers’ ability to win matches easily without half of their starting lineup starts at the front. Williams’ nasty blockade made the accents, but it was his blocking of gaps that could make him a candidate for Canton one day. In three weeks, Pro Football Focus has rated Williams as the second-best pass block in football, ahead of Monday night’s match between the Ravens and Chiefs. Williams helped defend Nick Mulens, starting with Jimmy Garopolo, during a show on Sunday in which the Giants’ defense did not stop insulting the 49ers once.
High-quality left-wing battles are perhaps the NFL’s toughest asset to be found outside of the quarterback franchise. 49ers upgraded from retired Joe Staley for the low, low price of a fifth-round pick in 2020 and a third-round pick in 2021. The 32-year-old is a free agent after the season, but it’s worth remembering that 32 years not so old in the legendary years of left-wing struggle.
There needs to be a greater debate about the efficiency of the NFL’s trade in proven talent. Aries have taken this model to extremes, mostly with a good effect. The 49 were on both sides of the equation, handing over Kansas City capital to Dee Ford while sending DeForest Buckner to Indianapolis. In the case of Williams, the juice is worth squeezing out completely when it doesn’t even include a selection that will probably be in the top 75 of the selections. Ten fights have a higher percentage than Williams’ this season, so it’s not even very expensive.
Don’t fall asleep to how remarkable these 49th zombies were. I don’t care how bad the football teams in New York are; the dominance of two games with a combined score of 67-22 with mostly backups, as the Niners just did to the Jets and Giants, is an impressive show of organizational strength. Even in the absence of all 49ers, they still have some dominant players, such as their wrestling combination (Williams and 26-year-old right-hander Mike McGlinchey, first-round pick in 2018) and 23-year-old midfielder Fred Warner. third round in 2018 John Lynch deserves recognition for these motives and for his aggressive move to maximize this Super Bowl window. Kyle Shanahan also deserves recognition for Lynch’s approval for the job of general manager, in addition to cooking an effective offense led by Mullens, choosing the first round in 2020, Brandon Ayuk and reclamation brought back by Jeric McKinnon.
Maybe the 49 never get healthy this season; I have never seen a team so destroyed. But apart from Nick Bosa (out for the year with a torn ACL), most of the starters are scheduled to return to the field. When the 49 became the “team no one wants to face” in January, remember this early stretch where they managed their schedule, even though they had every reason to implode. Remember the trade that Lynch started on the NFL weekend, when one of the best left-wing football games was available for a song.