Stefon Diggs did not take kindly to seeing the Buffalo Bills’ campaign brought to a close in the divisional round playoffs as the Cincinnati Bengals inflicted a 27-10 defeat on the champs of the AFC East.

A franchise that is famously still waiting on a first Super Bowl triumph is going to see that wait to get collective hands on the Vince Lombardi Trophy extended by at least another 12 months. In Orchard Park, it is very much a case of going back to the drawing board.

Glory

Expectations were high heading into the current campaign, and were delivered on to a degree when posting a 12-3 regular season record, but the race at State Farm Stadium in Arizona is being left for others to complete.

Ultimate glory has slipped through the Bills’ grasp once more, with Super Bowl outright betting now siding with the +225 market-leading Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles. NFL odds were weighted in favor of Sean McDermott’s men at one stage, with history seemingly beckoning, but dreams in the state of New York ultimately faded to nothing.

Diggs was among those left less than impressed at discovering that no order for Super Bowl rings would be placed in 2022. The superstar wide receiver has fallen under an unfortunate spotlight after being caught on camera gesticulating toward quarterback Josh Allen in the fourth quarter of a setback against the Bengals.

 
 
 
 

He was then eager to beat a hasty retreat once the dust settled at a snow-covered Highmark Stadium – maybe he wanted to beat the traffic – with Duke Johnson having to steer him back in the direction of a home locker room.

Diggs did not speak to the media afterward, which may have been best for all concerned, and has only poked his head back above the parapet on social media. His words there paint the picture of a frustrated figure who needed time in which to clear his head.

The same should have been true of every other member of the Bills’ roster, with it easy to argue that Diggs did nothing wrong. His antics have attracted criticism from some, but they really should not have as he was merely reacting in a manner that any born winner would. Nobody should be left smiling in defeat.

Diggs has posted a series of messages: “Want me to be okay with losing? Nah. Want me to be okay with our level of play when it’s not up to the standard? Nah. It’s easy to criticize my reaction more than the result.”

Competitive

Those behind the scenes appear to have no issue with him as McDermott has said: “Stef’s a highly competitive individual, as we all know, and that’s part of the reason why we all love him.” General manager Brandon Beane added: “I’d rather have guys I got to cool off and just, you know, he wants to win and I can live with that versus, I’ve been around people that I question, are they just here for the Monday paycheck?”

Did Diggs go about things in the right way? Probably not. While disappointment is understandable, finger-pointing does nobody any favors – neither does running away from a problem. His attitude should not be called into question, though, as it is that kind of character that could take the Bills a couple of steps further in 2023-24.

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