Predicting Bills' Key Stat Leaders for 2021 NFL Season

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 19, 2021

Predicting Bills' Key Stat Leaders for 2021 NFL Season

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs set a high standard for the 2021 season after reaching the AFC Championship Game in their first year together. 

    Allen breezed past his career high in passing by nearly 1,500 yards with a true No. 1 target in the fold. Diggs also cleared his previous top receiving yard total from his time with the Minnesota Vikings

    A 4,500-yard passing and 1,500-yard receiving season is not out of the question for both with one game added to the regular season. 

    What Buffalo gets from the rest of its offensive stars remains to be seen, but there is hope that it gets more out of the young running back duo of Devin Singletary and Zack Moss. 

    Singletary outgained Moss by 206 yards, but Moss found the end zone on two more occasions than the pair of times Singletary crossed the goal line.

    If the Bills get more out of both running backs, they could take some pressure off Allen in the ground game and keep him protected in the pocket more. 

Josh Allen

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    Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

    Allen established himself as one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL in 2020. 

    In addition to his 4,500-yard passing season, Allen added 421 rushing yards, which was the lowest total of his career. He led the Bills with eight rushing scores as well. 

    Allen's rushing-yard total may not have been as high as previous years, but he was just seven carries shy of tying his career high of 109 attempts that was set in 2019.

    With Emmanuel Sanders joining Diggs inside a loaded wide receiver room, Allen should have more incentive to air the ball out, instead of searching for yards on the ground. 

    Allen attempted 572 passes inside Brian Daboll's offense, and with another experienced wide out in tow and an extra game to be played, he should go over 600 passes thrown.

    If that is the case, Allen could make a push toward 5,000 passing yards, which is not as stunning of an achievement now as it may have been a few years ago with more emphasis on the passing game and the 17-game schedule in place. 

    Allen averaged 11.5 yards per catch and 7.9 yards per attempt in 2020. If he increases those averages by throwing at a higher rate, he should eclipse that mark in one of the final two contests. 

    Stat Prediction: 5,100 passing yards, 40 touchdown passes; 450 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns

Stefon Diggs

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Diggs led the NFL with 127 receptions and 1,525 receiving yards in 2020. 

    Even though he was used at a high volume in Minnesota, Diggs cruised past his previous career highs in both statistical categories. 

    Prior to 2020, Diggs had a single 100-catch season in 2018 and reached the 1,000-yard plateau in his final two seasons in the NFC North. 

    In all but one of his six seasons, Diggs increased his receiving-yard total from the year before. The lone exception came from 2016 to 2017, when he was 55 yards shy of an increase. 

    It may seem hard for Diggs to hit 1,526 yards or more in 2021, even with the 17th game in place, since Sanders is now on the roster and Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis and others are deserving of targets. 

    The lack of a dominant tight end will help Beasley, Davis and Isaiah McKenzie earn more targets from Allen. Dawson Knox had 24 receptions for 288 yards in 2020. 

    If the Bills do not receive a significant increase at tight end, they could utilize Sanders and Beasley across the middle to extend drives and then count on Diggs to beat defenders on the outside. 

    Diggs will still be targeted at a high rate, but if the production of other wideouts remains hot, he may not experience a 405-yard year over year surge.

    Stat Prediction: 120 receptions, 1,500 yards, 9 touchdowns

Zack Moss

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    The Bills have a good problem on their hands at running back. 

    They have two quality ball carriers who could emerge as the No. 1 rusher in 2021. Singletary achieved that honor in 2020, but he was not used much in December and January.

    Singletary picked up 28 carries in the final four regular-season games, and even when Moss was hurt for the last two postseason contests, he had 13 ground touches that amounted to 42 yards. 

    Before Moss went down with an ankle injury, he received 28 carries from Weeks 14-16 and had 11 overall touches in the wild-card win over the Indianapolis Colts

    Most importantly, Moss was called upon more in the red zone, and that resulted in two more scoring plays than his teammate. Allen still led the Bills with eight rushing touchdowns. 

    The late-season production could be an indication of how Daboll utilizes his running backs in 2021. That decision could be aided by Moss' toughness inside the red zone. 

    Allen is still expected to take up some of the rushing production, so it may be hard for a 1,000-yard rusher to emerge in 2021. 

    If Moss closes the gap to Singletary in carries, he could outrun the third-year back and keep up his advantage in touchdowns. The Utah product was 44 touches behind Singletary, but only one-tenth of a yard behind him in yards per carry. 

    Stat Prediction: 150 carries, 960 yards, 7 TD


    Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference.