Knox has been overwhelmed by the support and love from the NFL world after the tragic passing of his brother. Bills Mafia has been nothing short of incredible when events happen to this nature.
An Outlook On Dawson
In his brief three years in the NFL, Dawson Knox has always had the spark plug trait, and his 6 foot 4, 254-pound frame allows him to truck over defenders and leap up and make spectacular catches that other tight ends around the league are just not capable of. It’s odd, I actually see Knox’s career path similar to that of the man who throws him the football, Josh Allen. A rookie season that showed us flashes of greatness and potential all over the map, however raw talent that saw him make some mistakes, whether it was dropping too many passes or not being perfectly comfortable in the offense.
It wasn’t until his third season when Knox started being an integral part of the offensive scheme, and five combined touchdowns from years one and two were no match for the nine he scored in year three. The same could be said about Allen, who struggled a bit to find the accuracy he knew he was capable of in his rookie season, however showed fans what he could do on the ground, which came to our surprise, and delight.
In year two, Allen and the Bills were a ten-win team, yes, however the story was how strong the defense was, not how the quarterback led the team into the postseason. It was not until year three for Josh that fans around the league recognized how good he actually was, and the thirteen wins Buffalo achieved in 2020 had just about everything to do with Allen, who was a first time Pro Bowler and threw for 4,544 yards, the most of any quarterback in franchise history. I’m not saying Knox will reach those kinds of heights by any means, but I am insinuating that he could be a guy that the entire league looks at differently after this season.
A Breakout Star?
The dramatic changes in statistics and impact that both Knox and Allen made from year two to year three makes one wonder whether year four for the tight end will be even better. Maybe he’s even more of a red zone threat in 2022, and he puts up Pro Bowl numbers, becoming Allen’s new favorite target.
The change from 24 receptions to 49 in one season is something that is hard to take your eyes off of if you’re an analytics guru, which I’m not. From 2020 to 2021, his catch percentage went up 15%, which is a jump that tight ends regularly don’t make so quickly. He was also targeted 27 more times, indicating Allen’s newly found confidence in the former Ole Miss star.
GM Brandon Beane drafted Knox in 2019 to be a receiving tight end that can score in big games and be a threat in the red zone when Allen needed a safety blanket. 2021 was the first season he performed to those standards, and I believe that with a new offensive scheme with Ken Dorsey in as OC, Knox has the capability to make an even bigger leap in 2022. If everything goes according to plan for the Bills, a Pro Bowl caliber season from their fourth-year tight end could be something to look out for.
In the offseason of 2022, Dawson’s brother Luke suddenly passed away, shocking the entire football world. Luke was a great kid, who was pursuing an NFL career himself. He was seen on multiple episodes of “Buffalo Bills Embedded”, which is a series that the team’s social media team put together, highlighting, and spotlighting the behind-the-scenes parts of the players’ lives and social lives. I couldn’t imagine what such a tragedy could do to a family, and I am so heartbroken and anguished for the entire Knox family, and all of his friends.
As Dawson grieves with his family at home, reports have said he will be ready for opening weekend. It’s hard not to wonder whether such an event could inspire him to play for his brother and make him proud. Bills fans throughout the world, who have graciously stepped up in various situations similar to this already, have not disappointed. “They raised over $150,000 for P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaborative, an an organization based in Western New York that helps fight childhood cancer.”
Donations By The Fans
For Bills Mafia, death in the family for a star player is not something new. In 2020, Josh Allen’s grandmother passed away, and the fanbase donated to Allen’s children’s cancer research hospital of choice. Josh was shocked to see the outpouring of support that the fans that cheered him on every week had for him and his family, and he returns the favor by visiting the hospital whenever he has the chance.
As Knox returns to practice and finds his way back into the swing of things on the field, he will be playing with something extra, when his cleats hit the turf, I’m sure. Everyone in the NFL family has been super respectful towards the family of Dawson, and the tight end has expressed his gratitude in return.