Commack-born Matt Milano was one of 16 first timers to be selected to The Associated Press 2022 NFL All-Pro Team.
And deservingly so.
The 28-year-old linebacker out of Boston College balled out this season for the Buffalo Bills. He recorded 99 total tackles, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and 1 1/2 sacks this regular season. He also returned one of those picks for a 43-yard touchdown Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans. Watch the score below.
Milano was also named AFC Defensive Playoff of the Week after lighting up the Cleveland Browns offense in Week 11, where he registered 12 total tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery.
Not bad for fifth-round draft pick.
“It’s a blessing,” Milano said on being named an All-Pro. “Thank you to whoever voted for that, or whoever’s in charge of the whole situation. But honestly blessed to be named that realm.”
Playing in his six season in the NFL (all with Buffalo), Milano has been the engine for one of the top defenses in the league. The Bills defense allowed the second fewest points in the NFL this season, giving up only 17.9 points per game.
The Bills — a top betting favorite to win Super Bowl 57 — won the AFC East with a 13-3 finish. (One of their games was canceled due to his teammate Damar Hamlin suffering a cardiac arrest mid-game. Hamlin has since been discharged from the hospital.)
Milano’s team, which finished as the No. 2 seed in the AFC, will face rival and No. 7 seed, the Miami Dolphins, in the first round of the playoffs. The contest is set for this Sunday at 1 p.m. at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park.
The Bills are 1-1 against the Dolphins this season. Buffalo lost 21-19 in a Week 3 match against the Dolphins in Miami. Milano led his team with solo tackles that game with four. They got their revenge Week 15, beating the Phins 32-29 at home. Milano had eight total tackles and a 1/2 sack that match.
Long Island ties
Milano, the youngest of three, was born on Long Island to Mike and Janet Milano. When he was a toddler, the family moved to Florida.
He grew up in the Orlando area but was raised a Jets fan from his Long Island roots.
Fun fact: His father played football at Walt Whitman High School.
The Milanos still have family on the island and visit when they can, according to The Buffalo News.
Top: Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano (58) scores a touchdown after intercepting a pass during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kirk Irwin)