The Buffalo Bills improved to 3-1 after embarrassing the Houston Texans 40-0 in a dominant Week 4 victory. Led by a defense that pitched its second shutout in the last three weeks, Buffalo now looks like the team everyone expected to see entering the 2021 NFL season.
Here’s a look at the studs and duds from the Bills’ impressive win.
Stud: RB Devin Singletary
Zack Moss got the start and had himself quite the day, but it was Devin Singletary who had the most memorable performance on Sunday. The third-year running back rushed for 79 yards on 14 carries, breaking seven tackles while averaging 5.6 yards-per-carry. He also ripped off a 42-yard run that was negated by a Daryl Williams holding penalty.
Elusiveness has always been Singletary’s prime trait, but he’s flashed incredible burst and power this season, and those skills were put on full display against the Texans. Singletary has looked like a completely different player in 2021 than he did a year ago. He and Moss bring a dynamic one-two punch at running back that’s helping Buffalo’s offense be more balanced and less one-dimensional.
Stud: TE Dawson Knox
Perhaps no player on Buffalo’s offense has made a greater leap in their development than tight end Dawson Knox. Knox heard the Zach Ertz-to-Buffalo rumors all offseason and instead of letting it affect him, he worked harder to make himself indespenible. In Sunday’s win, Knox caught five passes for 37 yards and scored two touchdowns.
While he isn’t going to put up monster numbers that will get him in the elite tier with Travis Kelce, Darren Waller and George Kittle, Knox is making the most out of the five-to-six targets he sees a game. He’s catching the ball well, getting movement at the line of scrimmage as a blocker and creates yards after the catch for himself, which is exactly what he did on his 25-yard score.
Knox has developed into a well-rounded tight end and he adds another dimension to the offense that defenses need to account for.
Dud: RG Daryl Williams
The Bills kicked Daryl Williams inside, giving rookie third-round draft pick Spencer Brown the start at right tackle. Williams, who had a rocky start to the year on the edge struggled against the Texans’ replacement-level defensive tackles. Maliek Collins had a handful of pressures when matched up with Williams and the 29-year old didn’t seem to get much movement in the run game, either. To make matters worse, he was flagged for holding on a 42-yard Devin Singletary run.
Spencer Brown played very well in his debut and it’s clear that his teammates love the tenacity and fire that he plays with. With Jon Feliciano likely returning to action next week against the Kansas City Chiefs, it will be interesting to see how the team addresses the offensive line, given the fact that they’ve struggled mightily in their last two matchups with the Super Bowl champs.
Stud: QB Josh Allen
No surprise here. After throwing an interception on Buffalo’s first offensive play, Josh Allen regrouped and went on to complete 20-of-28 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns. He added another 41 yards on six carries, including an impressive 16-yard scamper on a fourth-and-one in which he ran outside when the defense was expecting a QB Sneak.
Allen did a great job pushing the ball downfield, with nine completions of 15-plus yards, but also had some awesome touch throws in which he layered the ball over Houston defenders to drop dimes into his receiver’s hands. Allen has clearly put the first two games of the season in the rearview and looks like his MVP-caliber self once again.
Stud: DT Ed Oliver
Ed Oliver had one of the best games of his young career against the Texans. He finished with four tackles, a huge tackle for loss on a play in which he blew past the right guard to blow up a run in the backfield. Three of his tackles were credited as “stuffs” by Pro Football Focus. Oliver’s pass rush success hasn’t showed up on the stat sheet yet, but he’s gotten consistent pressure and has won the majority of his one-on-one matchups.
Stud: LB Tremaine Edmunds
Tremaine Edmunds has been one of the most criticized players on Buffalo’s roster, but his performance Sunday should quiet most of his critics. Edmunds finished the game with six tackles, one interception and a pass breakup. He was stellar in coverage, allowing just one reception on three targets, and was stout against the run.
Edmunds didn’t miss a tackle and had another smooth game in which he made no mistakes and was consistently executing his assignments. He has a huge task ahead of him next week as he’ll be tasked with defending Travis Kelce and the Chiefs’ explosive offense.
Stud: WR Stefon Diggs
Diggs finally eclipsed 100 receiving yards Sunday, and did so in impressive fashion. He finished with seven grabs for 114 yards on 10 targets. Four of his receptions went for 15-plus yards, including a tough 37-yard grab over cornerback Desmond King. Diggs is a threat at all three levels of the field and it’s a credit to his talent to call his first three games (19 receptions, 191 yards, touchdown) underwhelming.
Diggs needs to bring it again next Sunday if the Bills hope to knock off their AFC foes.