Buffalo Bills wide receiver had to watch the Buffalo Bills divisional round loss to the Cincinnati Bengals several times over to process the defeat.
How do you process a big mistake or failure? Some people ruminate on what they wish the outcome was. Some people ignore it altogether because thinking of failure brings up tough emotions. Getting better often takes a period of self-reflection and thoughtful consideration of what, specifically, went wrong so you can react differently the next time. That can be a painful process because it requires thinking through the entire process and replaying it over. And over. And over.
That’s exactly what Stefon Diggs did after the Buffalo Bills lost in disappointing fashion to the Cincinnati Bengals in the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs. Buffalo lost 27-10 at home after being revered as a Super Bowl favorite throughout the season.
Diggs, according to a recent Buffalo News article, watched the game several times over on his iPad after the defeat (subscription may be required).
“I watched the game after the game on my iPad,” Diggs told The Buffalo News on Friday. “I watched the game like five times, just to see what kind of really happened, and I still didn’t draw an answer as to why it happened the way it did.
He also said he watched it right after the game.
Stefon Diggs is doing the work on figuring out what went wrong after outbursts
Some Bills fans didn’t like Diggs’ reaction the night of the loss. Optically, his sideline body language was likened to a tantrum or outburst. He ranted on Twitter after the game, too.
Diggs was noticeably confrontational with head coach Sean McDermott and quarterback and close friend Josh Allen throughout the season.
Diggs is the kind of player you want on your team. But for all the reasons you love him, his inability to deal with losses can create situations like what we saw from him the day of the loss and throughout the year when things weren’t perfect. He doesn’t tolerate results that don’t meet the objective. For the Bills, that objective was a Super Bowl win, and they weren’t even close. It was another year of disappointment.
It’s clear, though, Diggs is doing the work on trying to understand, deeply, what went wrong for him and the team. That’s the first step to coming back stronger next year.
A fire within to win is one thing. But when it’s paired with reflection and a desire to figure out how to get better, well, then you’ve got something.
Maybe his overly-aggressive desire to understand the defeat will bring he and Buffalo back stronger next year.