Skip to main content
Publish date:

Emmanuel Sanders has fit Right in With the Bills From the Start

He has made a difference in their offense after quickly gaining trust of coaches and QB Josh Allen.

From the time free agent Emmanuel Sanders first arrived, he was a perfect fit for the Buffalo Bills.

After all, they had what he was seeking, which was the kind of talent already in place to help him get back to the Super Bowl. And he provided what they needed too: A veteran receiver who could fill the void left by the departure of John Brown.

The arranged marriage involved a one-year, $5.9 million deal followed by a honeymoon that's still in progress.

Sanders, 34, is averaging a career-high 16.9 yards on 19 receptions and 10.4 yards per target since moving in. He's also on pace for a career-high 14 touchdown catches after snagging four through the first five games and to reach the 1,000-yard plateau for the first time since 2016.

All those statistics are merely byproducts of his ability to fit almost instantaneously.

"Other than energy and juice, he brings knowledge," quarterback Josh Allen said. "He's played in the league for a long time, he's a savvy vet, he knows his job, he studies hard, he runs his routes as hard as he can, practice included. Just a guy that I got a lot of trust in and, you know, he shows the younger guys how to do it and he's a great role model. He's a great dude and I love having him around."

When Allen is not throwing Sanders the football, he's talking smack to him.

"We give each other a lot of crap throughout the day," the quarterback joked. "I think he's the oldest guy on the team and I let him know it every day I can, so he's been awesome to be around and I'm super, super glad we were fortunate enough to grab him."

Read More

Sanders after Sunday night's 38-20 win at Kansas City praised Allen for being able to match his production with his ability.

"For me, 17 is special," Sanders said. "Special. I know everybody was kind of, `hey, what did you do.' But really I just got open, and the balls he's delivering on the run, it's just ridiculous what he's doing out there. When when he shuffled over a defender, he showed a whole other level tonight."

More than anything, Sanders embraces the process of a week-to-week approach and getting ready for each opponent.

He can see around corners and help his team avoid the kinds of traps like the one that could be directly in front of them after winning such an emotional game and looking at a week off after this coming Monday night's road trip to Tennessee.

"That's the challenge, right? We beat the Chiefs on the road and then we have a bye week coming up," Sanders said. "And so that's a narrative that everybody has to stay focused on. We got another tough game [first], right? We've got to go play the Titans, which is another great team, on Monday Night Football on the road. ... That's the test.

"At the end of the day, we've got to think about just where we want to be at the end of the season. So stay locked in and stay focused."

In just five weeks, Sanders already has checked off all the boxes as the Bills chase their first NFL title.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro. Email to Nicky300@aol.com.