I still cannot believe that Stefon Diggs dropped this pass. I know… he’s human and all players make mistakes. That being said your best player can’t make that mistake in that moment. You can’t be a highly paid, #1 WR, team captain, throw the antics he did last season including berating your QB on the sideline and …drop that pass. This isn’t a week 4 game against the Dolphins… this is the NFL Playoffs, against the SB champions, the team that ended the Bills season twice. The team he famously cried while watching them celebrate. I think it’s reasonable to expect your best player to make that play.
Catching this pass hardly guaranteed a victory with 8:00 left but setting the Bills up at the 25 yard line would have been a huge momentum boost for the Bills. It could have almost been like the Harty punt return TD from a few weeks ago.
I also think this catch could have changed the narrative surrounding Diggs potentially on the decline and a history of bad performances against Kansas City. It also would have erased the drop and fumble from earlier in the game. Instead of adding this
play to his career highlights alongside the Minneapolis Miracle, it now lives in infamy as “the drop” that will likely follow his otherwise stellar career in Buffalo. The narrative is no longer, why doesn’t Buffalo get the ball to Stef in big playoff games. It now becomes why does Stef deliver in big playoff games.
And the pass, it was perhaps one of the most beautiful balls we’ve seen travel nearly 70 yards on target. There’s maybe one other QB that could make that throw, and he was on the visitors sideline.
When you consider the difficulty of the throw, the ease of the catch, the moment, the opponent, the history, the game, the potential legacy lost, it is - in my opinion - the biggest drop in Buffalo Bills history. Recency bias? Maybe. But maybe not.
Some other drops I’ve lived through and why I place them under this one heartbreak.
Ronnie Harmon - Bills vs. Cleveland 1989 Playoffs
On paper this drop was bigger. It was a catch in the end zone for the GW TD with :13 remaining. The difference is the player. Harmon had a history of choking in big moments on college. While he was a well-known player in the NFL, Harmon was never considered an elite superstar the way Diggs has been. Also I’ve read that in 1989 this was considered a “difficult” catch, despite it looking routine with 2024 eyes.
Stevie Johnson - Bills vs. Pittsburgh 2010
This also was a GW TD drop that would have been a nice story in 2010 for the underdog Bills led by Fitz. However the stakes weren’t very high. This catch would be a fun moment but ultimately I don’t think it would have much impact on a 2 win team. Plus the drop create the Bills Mafia moniker.
Charles Clay - Bills vs. Miami 2018
With the Bills trailing 27-21, Josh makes an amazing throw on the run to throw a ball 40 yards across his body to Charles Clay who proceeds to drop the game winner. While this wasn’t an easy catch, it was far from
impossible. Much like Diggs, Clay was the biggest receiving target on the team and one of the highest paid players on offense. Your best players need to step up at key moments and Clay failed. But much like the Stevie drop, this game wouldn’t have much impact on a losing season.
Theres a couple others I can think of but nothing as big or high profile as these ones. Also my Bills memory only goes back to be about 1988 or so.
Any other devastating drops? And where would you rank them?