Bills re-cement status among NFL’s elite in 48-20 win over Dolphins

10/01/2023
DB+

The Buffalo Bills did, indeed, squish the fish, beating the Miami Dolphins 48-20 in their Week 4 showdown and improving their record to 3-1 on the season. The Bills came out hot and didn’t let their foot off the gas for a single second. While the Dolphins were matching the Bills blow for blow initially, the Buffalo defense made great plays down the stretch and found ways to slow down the NFL’s fastest and most dominant offense.

Below we will talk about the most inspired performances, inquire about a player who now has to step up, the position that requires a (slightly) better performance, and the most irksome part of this game.

Inspire – A Complete Game:

Offense, defense, and special teams; all three phases showed out for the Bills today. Ken Dorsey put on a clinic and put Vic Fangio’s defense in a blender from the first drive through the end of the game. The Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs connection was more electric than ever, with Diggs scoring three touchdowns including a punishing 55-yard score where he broke multiple tackles and outraced the Dolphins’ defense to the end zone. Sean McDermott gave the Dolphins offense problems, creating great coverages that forced Tua Tagovailoa to hold onto the ball and try to create plays out of structure. The Dolphins had their plays early, and it looked like it could be a track meet, but the Bills made their adjustments, stayed disciplined, and ultimately stymied the Dolphins the longer the game went on. The Bills clamped down, made big stops, and got critical turnovers when they had to have it. On top of that, the Bills’ special teams coverage played well, and Tyler Bass remains perfect on the season. The Bills needed a complete game from all three phases to win this game, and they got more than just a win, they got a thrashing of the Dolphins. 

Inquire – Kaiir Elam:

As we’ll discuss later in the Irk section, Tre’Davious White’s injury looms large, which propels Kaiir Elam into the spotlight. Elam has had a tough start to his NFL career, not playing much as a rookie and finding himself as a healthy scratch to start the 2023 season. Now, the Bills need Elam to step up and be the first-round pick they need him to be. The fact is that Elam is a very talented player, but the Bills took a chance on someone who is not their typical archetype at the position, and as such, he has had trouble finding his way onto the roster as a starter.

Now the Bills are left with few options. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Bills started Dane Jackson and Christian Benford next week (assuming Benford is also healthy) as they’re the more experienced players this year. But at some point, Elam will have to play, and the Bills are going to have to learn how to work through his up-and-down play. Sean McDermott is a great defensive coach who has made a living making DBs’ careers better, which should give Bills fans faith in what Elam is capable of, and hopefully what he can do to replace White.

Require – Run Game:

The Bills played very well, and their run game found a solid overall balance on offense. That said, they could have found a little more consistency in the run game with James Cook and Latavius Murray. Ultimately, the Bills did enough in the run game for the Bills to get the right balance they needed offensively, and of course, Allen and Diggs playing out of their respective minds helps a lot as well. But the Bills had a tough assignment to find a run game against the Dolphins front, and found some plays, but could have had a little bit more.

Irk – Tre’Davious White Injury:

It was a tough scene to watch White deal with another non-contact injury. He took time coming back from his ACL tear in 2021 and seemed to be fully back this year, but he was visibly distraught and seemed to believe at that moment that it wasn’t a simple ankle injury or sprain. For the Bills, it’s another year of hoping for a fully healthy defense with White and Von Miller in particular being healthy, and now just as Miller is getting ready to return, White suffers an injury. Even if you’re not a fan of the Bills, it’s unfortunate just for the game of football to not have these two legitimately great players healthy at the same time.

The Bills will be traveling to London to face the Jacksonville Jaguars next week at 9:30 AM on NFL Network. The Jags, who have evened their record to 2-2, are a tough team to get a gauge on through the first month of the season, but a talented one nonetheless that the Bills cannot afford to overlook. It will be a tough test, but a winnable one for the Bills as they, once again, look like one of the best teams in the NFL.

1 Comment

  1. Sandra Tompsett

    What a game. Probably a good thing that your uncle didn’t get to watch it.