The Buffalo Bills have dominated their opponents since dropping their season opener to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and that continued Sunday. Buffalo thrashed the Houston Texans 40-0 to move to 3-1 for the season. It was a complete game on both sides of the ball, with minimal mistakes by either the offense or defense.
Here are the four biggest takeaways from the game.
Bills get great results from shuffled OL
In an effort to get more out of their offensive line, Buffalo kicked right tackle Daryl Williams inside to replace right guard Cody Ford, giving rookie Spencer Brown the start at right tackle. Additionally, Ike Boettger filled it at left guard for an injured Jon Feliciano.
While Williams had some struggles and was flagged for a hold that negated a 42-yard run by Devin Singletary, the new-look unit fared well. Josh Allen was sacked just one time, while the Bills mauled the Texans on the ground, gaining 199 yards (including a one-yard kneel-down) and two touchdowns on 40 carries for an average of 5 yards-per-carry.
Zack Moss and Devin Singletary split carries, with each having big games. Moss gained 61 yards on 14 carries and found the endzone, while Singletary picked up 79 yards on 14 carries. Moss continues to be the starter, but Singletary has proven to be a quality change-of-pace back that’s capable of ripping off big gains.
Defense pitches another shutout
Buffalo’s defense is off to an incredible start and just pitched its second shutout in three weeks. The Bills swarmed Houston quarterback Davis Mills, who completed 11-of-21 passes for 87 yards – most of which came in garbage time late in the fourth quarter against Buffalo’s second and third-stringers.
The Bills intercepted Mills four times and had eight pass breakups. Tremaine Edmunds, Micah Hyde, Jaquan Johnson and Tyler Matakevich each recorded a pick on the rookie out of Stanford. Carlos Basham and Star Lotulelei had sacks, while Cam Lewis forced a fumble that the Bills recovered.
Buffalo’s run defense was dominant, yet again, holding the Texans to 48 yards on 18 carries. Defensively, the Bills were lights out in every category and will need to carry this momentum into a huge away game next week on Sunday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Josh Allen is efficient again
After a shaky start to the season, Josh Allen has gotten into a groove. Despite an interception on the first offensive play of the game, Allen completed 20-of-29 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns against Houston. On a rainy afternoon that resulted in ball control issues for both teams, Allen proved that he could be efficient and keep the chains moving offensively despite poor conditions.
Stefon Diggs finally eclipsed 100 receiving yards, as he and Allen connected seven times for 114 yards. Emmanuel Sanders was once again a big factor on offense, reeling in five catches for 74 yards with a seven yard rush.
Dawson Knox having a breakout campaign
After serving as the BillsMafia’s whipping boy for much of the 2020 season, tight end Dawson Knox has put it all together and is enjoying a breakout campaign in 2021. He put a ton of work in during the offseason – from his hand-eye coordination, to route running, and learning the nuances of the position – and it’s coming full circle.
Knox caught five passes for 37 receiving yards and two touchdowns Sunday, bringing his season total to four scores. Knox isn’t ever going to put up Darren Waller or Travis Kelce-like numbers, but that’s okay. He’s now capable of being relied upon to haul in four to five big grabs a game and is a threat to score anytime he gets the ball in the red zone.
His development is great for the Bills, who now have another reliable playmaker on an already-loaded offense.
Buffalo travels to face the Chiefs next week on Sunday Night Football. Stay tuned to Cover 1 for the latest news and analysis.