In week two of the NFL regular season the Buffalo Bills travel to play the Miami Dolphins. The Bills will have a new playmaker at their disposal in wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who faces off against Miami’s best wideout DeVante Parker.
Parker, Diggs Flourished in 2019 Yards
Parker had himself a breakout year in 2019 living up to the expectations that were set high on him since he entered the league in 2015. He rebounded and played in all sixteen games for Miami for the first time in his career and finished with seventy-two receptions, for 1,202 receiving yards. He added nine receiving touchdowns, leading the team in all receiving categories.
Diggs on the other hand had a quiet season for the most part, despite putting up good numbers. For the first time in his career He put up career numbers in receiving yards for a season. Diggs finished the season with sixty-three receptions, on a career-high and team-leading 1,130 receiving yards. He tied with fellow receiver Adam Thielen with six receiving TDs.
Both Parker, Diggs Should Be Their Team’s No. 1 WR
Going into the 2020 season Parker should presumably be the Dolphins’ No. 1 WR and look to build off his best season of his young NFL career. Whether Ryan Fitzpatrick or Tua Tagovailoa is at quarterback to begin the season, Parker will undoubtedly be the go-to WR, especially if No. 2 WR Preston Williams isn’t available for the first few games (ACL).
Diggs will venture onto a new team after being traded to the Bills. His back-and-forth WR No. 1 role will again be questioned after five seasons of success in Minnesota. He now joins young blue chipper at QB in Josh Allen, but is greeted by two other successful WRs in John Brown and Cole Beasley. Diggs will come into the 2020 season and fight for the No. 1 role, that he should win.
Dolphins Or Bills on Track For AFC East Crown?
Coming off a 5-11 record under first year head coach Brian Flores, the Dolphins are hoping to build off last season and push for a better 2020 outcome.
The Dolphins are missing some pieces to complete the team as a whole, and will struggle at times in the season to maintain consistency, but Parker, without question, is the team’s X WR and will be used in pretty much all of Miami’s play calling.
The Bills are coming off a 10-6 season that saw them lose in the divisional round of the playoffs to the Houston Texans. With the AFC East dramatically changing after the departure of New England QB Tom Brady, Buffalo has a real shot at the division title. Just like Parker, Diggs will take over as the team’s X receiver and will be used in a vast majority of the play calling, and will be a huge asset in trying to accomplish this feat.
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Parker, Diggs Must Conquer Career-Plaguing Injury Woes
The biggest improvement that Parker needs to make in his career is being able to stay healthy consistently. Parker needs to show his supporting cast that he can be reliable for a full season, as he has missed 11 total in five years. He didn’t have a full 16-game slate until last year.
Diggs’ need to improve his own injury bug is what has plagued his career. He has yet to finish a complete sixteen game season in his five years, missing 10 career games. Diggs has shown when healthy that he is one of the games best wideouts and can produce big time numbers.
Parker’s Impact Against Buffalo
Parker should be able to use his quickness to attack the Bills secondary in week two. He will likely lineup across from free-agent pickup cornerback Josh Norman early and often if given the chance. With Norman’s production at a decline after a very poor showing last season with the Washington Redskins, with numbers falling in nearly every category, Parker should be dreaming of this match-up.
Diggs’ Impact Against Miami
Diggs, like Parker, will demand a lot of attention from the Dolphins’ secondary. He can use his experience to help guide his surrounding support of the receiving group and begin to pick apart Miami’s CBs if given the one-on-one opportunity. This ability won’t be available for all WRs facing the top-two highest paid QBs in the league, but the NFL has seen Diggs’ highly successful work against CBs in his career.
While the Dolphins do have the more experienced secondary with the free agent pick up in CB Byron Jones from the Dallas Cowboys, Diggs should go after Jones in the match-up. Jones doesn’t have the greatest speed and Diggs will be able to exploit him at least once.
Who Wins The Match-up?
Parker and Diggs should both look to have a very productive game and will be targeted early and often. Diggs should have better play overall because of the higher-talented Bills offense and the match-up problems he will create.