Thanks to a huge night from Diggs Sunday night, the Vikings came away with a 17-14 win over the Green Bay Packers in which Diggs provided the touchdown that proved to be the game-winning points.
He finished with nine catches for 182 yards – almost two-thirds of the Vikings passing yards on the night. After the game he was all smiles, being pulled away to do both local and national interviews for his performance.
Although he and quarterback Sam Bradford have only been working together for a little over two weeks, it hasn’t taken him long to build a chemistry with Bradford, which he chalks up to hard work and attention to detail.
“It’s just coming into work every day and working hard to be successful on the field,” Diggs said. “You’ve got make your plays when they come your way and you’ve got to show him that you’ll do it for him.”
It was obvious that Bradford had confidence in Diggs, targeting him 11 times and averaging more than 20 yards per reception.
He is impressed with Bradford’s field demeanor. For being a new player on a team that has built its own rapport over the two years that Mike Zimmer and his staff has brought many of them into the fold, Diggs likes the way Bradford has carried himself in practice and in the huddle Sunday night.
“He’s a really poised guy,” Diggs said. “If you ever look at him, he has the same facial expression the whole time. In the game, we were in the huddle and he said, ‘Let’s go finish.’ It just shows you that tenacity that you want. He’s just doing what he has to do to help the team. Everybody is working as a collective unit to get that done.”
Diggs’ breakout game saved some of the best for when it was needed the most. With the Vikings leading 10-7 in the third quarter, it was Bradford and Diggs that did the damage together. They connected on a 46-yard bomb that got the Vikings into scoring position and, four plays later, hooked up on a 25-yard touchdown that gave the Vikings a 10-point lead that wouldn’t be caught.
Diggs has earned the respect not only of his offensive teammates, but the guys on the other side of the ball as well.
“All he does is go out there and make plays,” cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said. “He runs great routes and will fight for every ball – whether it’s in a game or in practice. He just knows how to ball and he brings his best at all times.”
For a guy who was on the sidelines in Week 2 of the 2015 season watching as a healthy scratch among the inactives, he had no clue what his professional career would hold.
A year later, he credits hard work and perseverance as the keys to his ascent to the No. 1 receiver on the roster. He became the first player since Cris Carter in 1997 to post back-to-back 100-yard games in the first two games of the season, but said after the game that he still isn’t satisfied.
But he would admit that when the offense, defense and special teams all work together, good things can and will happen. It doesn’t come easy, but for those willing to give maximum effort, the rewards are there.
“The thing about football, when you’ve got guys that work hard and got guys that do things the right way, it’ll come together the way it’s supposed to if you put the work in,” Diggs said. “We put the work in and let the rest figure itself out.”null