ORCHARD PARK, NY (WIVB) – The gap has closed, the Dolphins offense is something unprecedented, Mike McDaniel is a genius. The message from across the NFL was loud: The Bills were second-class citizens in a division they had won three years in a row. On Sunday, the defense of Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs and Sean McDermott sent a not-so-subtle reminder that the team to beat in the AFC East is playing in Orchard Park. Here are my 4 observations on the Bills’ win over the Dolphins:
Allen silences critics with a near-perfect performance
Josh Allen’s doubters suffered a major blow today. After the loss to the Jets in Week 1, many people doubted the Bills quarterback. He then had a decent game in a win over the Raiders in Week 2, but the doubters said he needed to act more like a “game manager.” The Bills won in Week 3, but “It’s just the Commanders” became the naysayer’s rallying cry. Allen went 21-for-25 against the previously undefeated Dolphins, going 21-for-25 for 320 yards and scoring five total touchdowns. The Bills’ offense looked smooth in the win, scoring on eight of their first nine possessions. The Jets game seems like a distant memory.
The defense is reeling from McDaniel’s high-flying attack
The Bills defense confused Tua. The Dolphins had a 70-point lead over the Broncos last week, but Sunday was a much different story. The defense was able to put pressure on the Dolphins quarterback. Coming into the game, Tau had been sacked once all season, but the Bills knocked him down four times. The coverage in the secondary was excellent, they made Tua hang on to the ball a split second longer than he wanted, and they were able to keep pressure on him for most of the game. The Bills defense heard the number 70 a lot throughout the week and was ready to send a message. McDermott is one of the best defensive players in the game and McDaniel is one of the best offensive players, but McDermott’s unit was far superior in the Bills’ win.
Worries about injuries dampen the mood
After the win, a dark cloud hung over the Bills’ locker room. Tre’Davious White was carted off the field with a hamstring injury. White injured his knee in 2021. He rehabbed, was able to play at the end of the 2022 season and finally looked like his former All-Pro self. Dane Jackson came into the game to replace White with Christian Benford on the other side of the field. Former first-round draft pick Kaiir Elam has been a healthy player in every game this season, so the Bills will now have to see what he can do. It will be interesting to see if Brandon Beane takes a look at other potential veteran options.
Numbers tell the story
The Bills stats from this game are very impressive from top to bottom. Josh Allen had a perfect passer rating (158.3) for the first time in his career. The Bills have won nine of their last 10 regular season games against the Dolphins. Linebacker Terrel Bernard has four takeaways in the last three games. Greg Rousseau had two sacks in the game and five and a half sacks in five games against Miami.
Josh Reed is an award-winning journalist who has served as News 4’s sports director since 2015. More information can be found here.