Folks don’t like ties. They wish to win, and they would like others to lose.
It’s a maxim that has kicked round for years, however could have been easiest stated through the English novelist W. Somerset Maugham.
“Now that I’ve grown old, I realize that for most of us it is not enough to have achieved personal success,” Maugham stated. “One’s best friend must also have failed.”
With that during thoughts, what occurs when a industry seems to be an unequivocal good fortune for each groups? That state of affairs is taking part in out in Buffalo and Minnesota, the place a blockbuster deal that despatched huge receiver Stefon Diggs and a late-round select to the Vikings for a package deal of draft choices has given each groups precisely what they sought after.
Diggs, who will take the sphere for Buffalo in one among two N.F.L. video games on Monday, has been a dominant drive for the 4-1 Expenses. Justin Jefferson, a large receiver thinking about probably the most choices bought for Diggs, has been probably the most few brilliant spots for the rebuilding Vikings.
For the Expenses, the addition of Diggs has modified the make-up of the group. Josh Allen, who had from time to time tantalized, used to be having a look like a legitimate candidate for the league’s Most Valuable Player Award before faltering in last week’s loss to Tennessee. John Brown and Cole Beasley appear to have found purpose as the team’s No. 2 and 3 receivers behind Diggs. And Buffalo, as it works out some issues on defense, has a top-five offense for the first time since 1992.
As for Diggs, he is playing perhaps the best football in his career. His 509 yards receiving entering Monday night gave him 101.8 per game, which trailed only Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins for the N.F.L. lead, and he was catching more than 70 percent of the balls thrown his way for just the second time in his career. He was doing that despite increased attention and fairly tight coverage, with an average separation of just 2.7 yards per reception, according to the N.F.L.’s Next Gen statistics database.
Diggs seemed eager for even more.
“I’m always chasing greatness,” he said. “I feel like we’re nowhere close to where we can be.”
While Diggs has had personal success, it’s also notable how his presence has opened the field for his teammates. With opponents focusing on Diggs, Allen was able to throw fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Brown and to tight end Tyler Kroft during the team’s 4-0 start.
Diggs said he’s “just one guy,” but acknowledged the impact he has had on others, saying, “My job entails getting open or getting other guys open.”
Despite all of that, you can make a reasonable case that Minnesota has won this trade so far. Or at least that the Vikings did better than could have been expected once the team’s hand was forced.
Diggs was a malcontent in Minnesota, repeatedly talking about wanting to be traded. He turns 27 next month and he’s fairly expensive at $14.8 million for this season. Situations like that often lead to teams getting pennies on the dollar in a trade.
But the Vikings appear to have struck gold in Jefferson.
A 6-foot-1, 202-pound receiver out of Louisiana State, Jefferson is just 21 and under contract for a total of just $13.1 million for the next four seasons — less than Diggs will make just this year.
Despite that discounted rate, Jefferson is third in the N.F.L. with 537 yards receiving, a total that trails only Billy Howton of the 1952 Packers for the most through a player’s first five games. And Jefferson is picking up steam with more than 100 yards in three of his last four games, including 166 and two touchdowns in Sunday’s loss to Atlanta.
He is catching 77.8 percent of the balls thrown his way and he is a serious vertical threat, with an average of 19.2 yards per reception.
The struggling team’s faith in Jefferson has been apparent. Many took note of Kirk Cousins trusting the rookie in a key situation with an unpracticed over-the-shoulder throw in a Week 4 win. But an even bigger endorsement of Jefferson came in Sunday’s loss to Atlanta. Cousins was intercepted twice on throws to Jefferson in the first half, but he kept targeting the young star, who ended up having the best game of his career despite the team’s 40-23 loss.
Diggs’s departure has not cured the Vikings of their discontent, and tempers flared on Sunday with receiver Adam Thielen appearing to berate Cousins on the sideline during a brutal first half. But Jefferson has done his part to try to keep things light, introducing his teammates to the Griddy, a dance that Thielen tried to emulate a couple of weeks in the past.
Whether or not Jefferson can stay alongside of Diggs in the longer term is an open query. Diggs is a identified entity thriving as a No. 1 receiver for a group anticipated to make the playoffs. Jefferson is taking advantage of groups no longer figuring out him, from his group frequently trailing through a large margin and from having Thielen at the different facet of the sphere. However Jefferson, the youngest participant to attain a landing this season, made a very good level a couple of weeks in the past when requested about his speedy building.
“We didn’t have any preseason or anything before this,” he stated. “I guess you could say this is my preseason and I’m just getting started.”
Possibly on this uncommon example, a tie is OK.