Earlier this week, the Cardinals and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins won the Best Sports Transaction of the Year. There was another trade made during the same off-season, and that player put up better numbers and was on a better team. That man is Stefon Diggs. In the last off-season, he was traded from the Vikings to the Bills for a first-round pick, a fifth-round pick, and a sixth-round pick in 2020 along with a fourth-round pick this year.
The case for DeAndre Hopkins: Season Stats
Hopkins put up all-pro numbers this year, posting 115 catches for 1,407 yards, six touchdowns, and three fumbles. He averaged 87.9 yards per game and had a catch percentage of 71.9 on an 8-8 Cardinals team. The year before he arrived, the Cardinals had the 12th best offense (19-20); this year, he helped their offense jump to the sixth-best in the NFL. He played in every game this year with a PFF grade of 87.1. These are great numbers but, Buffalo Bills’ wide receiver Stefon Diggs put up better ones.
Stefon Diggs’ Best Season yet
Diggs in his first year in Buffalo put up insane numbers, posting 127 receptions for 1,535 yards and eight touchdowns. He led the league in catches and yards this year and averaged 95.9 yards per game on a 76.5 catch percentage. He came in and made an immediate impact on the Bills’ offense. In 2019-2020, the Bills had the 23rd best offense in the NFL. Once Diggs arrived, the Bills skyrocketed to having the 3rd best. Along with that, the Bills improved their record from 10-6 to 13-3 and won the AFC East. Diggs also played in every game this season and posted a PFF grade of 89.4.
Bigger Team Impact?
The Cardinals did give up a little less with their trade: David Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick, and a 2021 fourth-round pick, but the stats don’t lie. Diggs came into Buffalo and had a crazy impact, helped develop Josh Allen into a legit threat to win the MVP, helped our other receivers get the right matchups and shine, and, finally, helped the struggling Bills offense turn into a top-three offense in the NFL. Diggs helped the Bills make the playoffs and get to the AFC championship game. Before this, the Bills had not been to that game since 1994.
In my opinion, Diggs not getting this award is an absolute snub. He put up better in-season stats, played on a better team, and had more of an impact on the game than Hopkins did.
The table below shows the increase in team offensive stats from 19/20 to 20/21:
|Team||3rd down %||Redzone %||Points Scored||PPG||Points per Drive||Passing Yards||TD’S||Yards per play||Yards per Drive|