This past Sunday the 2021 NFL season concluded with a really good Super Bowl where the Los Angeles Rams were victorious over the Cincinnati Bengals. While the Buffalo Bills lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in an incredible overtime game in the Divisional Round, which was a disappointment to the Bills Mafia, there was a lot of talent on the Bills roster. Here are the Buffalo Bills 2021 season awards.
Buffalo Bills 2021 Season Team Awards
Most Valuable Player: Josh Allen
Josh Allen might not have made the Pro Bowl, after being named to the Pro Bowl in 2020, or received any MVP consideration, after coming in second in the MVP voting in 2020. But he still was unequivocally the Bills most important and valuable player throughout the 2021 season. He threw for 4,407 yards with 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He also rushed for six touchdowns and a career-high 763 yards.
Not only was Allen the Bills MVP in 2021, but he also continued to show why he is one of the best young signal-callers in the league. He will most likely find himself back in the NFL MVP conversation in 2022. Most fans and people in the league would consider Allen a top-5 quarterback in the league. The Bills have a lot of talent around Allen, but they will only go as far as he takes them and his ceiling, as he proved in both 2020 and 2021, is really high. He is a big reason why so many people have the Bills as their early pick to win next year’s Super Bowl.
Offensive Player of the Year: Stefon Diggs
Technically, Josh Allen was the Bills best offensive player in 2021, for all of the reasons listed in the MVP section. But for the sake of variety, Stefon Diggs gets the nod here. And Diggs is certainly deserving. After setting career highs in receptions (127) and receiving yards (1,535) in 2020 Diggs was named a First-Team All-Pro and made the Pro Bowl. While there was a bit of a drop-off in production in 2021, Diggs still had 1,225 receiving yards (his fourth straight 1,000+ yard season) on 103 receptions, a career-high 10 touchdowns, and made another Pro Bowl.
Diggs proved to be a matchup issue for opposing defenses and was a go-to guy for his quarterback. Besides Allen, Diggs was the most important player on the Bills offense in 2021.
Defensive Player of the Year: Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer
Both of the Bills safeties, Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, deserve to be named as Buffalo’s Defensive Player of the Year. Hyde started all 17 games and posted 74 tackles, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, 10 passes defended, and five interceptions (tied for fourth-most in the NFL), including a pick-six. He was named as a second-team All-Pro. Poyer had 16 starts and posted 93 tackles, three sacks, nine passes defended and five interceptions (tied for fourth-most in the league), made the Pro Bowl, and was selected as a first-team All-Pro.
Their play was important to the Bills because Buffalo lost Tre’Davious White to a season-ending torn ACL in the Bills game against the New Orleans Saints in Week 12. The play of Hyde and Poyer was a big reason the Bills defense finished the season ranked first both in yards per game and points per game and second in turnovers.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Spencer Brown
Spencer Brown was selected in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft (93rd overall) and he signed a four-year contract with the Bills. And while he may have been inconsistent at times, and he was flagged for too many penalties, he ultimately played well enough to finally remain at right tackle, which allowed the Bills to move Daryl Williams from that position, where he was struggling, to guard. He did miss two games due to a back injury he suffered and then two more while he was on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
But he ultimately ended up playing in 13 games, with 10 starts and started both of the Bills postseason games, after turning it on in the latter half of the season. That is impressive considering he was originally competing for a primary backup spot. There is definitely room for improvement, especially in pass blocking, but Brown was impressive, overall, in his rookie season and could be a part of the Bills offensive line for years to come. But he does need to stay healthy and available.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Greg Rousseau
Greg Rousseau started all 17 games for the Bills in 2021 and trailed only Jerry Hughes and Ed Oliver in number of snaps. In his first NFL season, Rousseau had 50 tackles (eight for a loss), 10 quarterback hits, four sacks, one forced fumble, four passes defended, and an interception.
Those are fairly impressive numbers for a rookie, especially since he opted out of the 2020 season while at Miami and had only played one year of college football (2019). He was also the only rookie to play in every game in 2021. The biggest issue for Rousseau is he will have to get used to playing a full 17-game NFL schedule. But that is something that he can work on to make sure he finishes each season strong. If he does he could really be a player who is capable of consistently collapsing the pocket.
Most Improved Player: Dawson Knox
Devin Singletary and Harrison Phillips both deserve recognition here, but Dawson Knox was the Bills most improved player in 2021. There was a lot of talk about the Bills possibly trying to upgrade at the tight end position, but they ultimately stayed with Knox as their go-to tight end. And it paid off as Knox had career-highs in targets (71), receptions (49), and touchdowns (nine) this past season. The nine touchdown catches set a franchise record for tight ends and were four more than he had the previous two seasons combined.