The Buffalo Bills put on an offensive and defensive clinic in their 48-20 win over the Miami Dolphins Sunday.
With four sacks and nine quarterback hits, the Bills defensive line put pressure on Tua Tagovailoa as they held the Dolphins to just 49 total net yards in the second half.
Offensively, Josh Allen put together a near-flawless performance with a perfect passer rating and found Stefon Diggs for three touchdowns.
The Bills are now 3-1 and are at the top of the standings in the AFC East. Here's what analysts around the NFL are saying about Allen, Diggs and the rest of the Buffalo Bills.
After a dominant 48-20 win over Miami, which had been the best statistical offense for the first three weeks of the NFL season, NBC's Peter King thinks Buffalo could be the most impressive team in the NFL because of Josh Allen's ability to dominate defenses and extend plays combined with a pass rush that has benefited from Sean McDermott's aggressive play calling.
"Josh Allen was superb in three ways: no turnovers, no major collisions in the open field, and the first perfect passer rating in his career. … The window's closing on all that talk about the Bills' championship window closing."
Pat McAfee was convinced that the Miami Dolphins, fresh off of a 70-point performance against the Denver Broncos, would leave Buffalo with their first win in Western New York since 2016.
Now, he believes that the Bills, led by an efficient and accurate Josh Allen, are the team to beat in the AFC.
"The Buffalo Bills are the wagon that we were talking about with the Miami Dolphins … Stefon Diggs has three touchdowns, Gabe Davis had a touchdown, Josh Allen rushes for a touchdown. The Buffalo Bills are everything we thought they were going to be last year when they were the hype of the AFC and the NFL."
Since joining the Buffalo Bills, Stefon Diggs has caught 33 touchdown passes, the fifth-highest in that time span. Allen and Diggs rank just second in team history in touchdowns between a quarterback and a pass catcher, trailing Jim Kelly and Andre Reed. Sunday once again showed how dangerous the Bills can be when Diggs and Allen are on the same page.
"The Diggs-Allen connection – one so strong the kindred spirits are almost always on the same page to the point you can see the two of them managing to communicate in completely unique and largely non-verbal ways – was cooking on Sunday."
The Miami Dolphins offense is built to produce big plays. The Dolphins lead the league with the top five fastest plays in the 2023 NFL season, courtesy of speedsters De'Von Achane, Tyreek Hill and Raheem Mostert. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa leads all starting QBs with 5.7 air yards per attempt.
But a well-schemed defense and a ferocious pass rush stifled one of the best offenses in the league, USA TODAY's Jarrett Bell wrote.
"By keeping the explosive plays in check with a mix of zone and man coverages and a tendency to disrupt patterns with contact on receivers at the line of scrimmage, Buffalo threw off Tagovailoa's rhythm. It forced the quarterback to hold onto the football longer, which in turn fed Buffalo's pass rush."
The Bills scored on four of their first drive and Josh Allen had more touchdowns (5) than incompletions (4) as Buffalo has now won 10 of their last 11 games against the Dolphins. The Athletic's Zak Keefer wrote that Allen's MVP-caliber season has powered the Bills into the upper echelon of NFL teams this year.
"This was Allen at his MVP-worthy best. Same for Diggs. Same for McDermott, who showered the Dolphins' high-powered offense with praise all week, then owned Miami for three hours Sunday afternoon, badly outcoaching Mike McDaniel in the process."
Linebacker Matt Milano is difficult to keep up with. He is effective in pass coverage, with two interceptions on seven targets, as well as against the run, with a forced fumble and 27 total tackles. His 28.0 passer rating allowed when targeted is the fifth-lowest in the league and Rich Eisen thinks he could be a possible Defensive Player of the Year.
"We gotta start talking about [Matt Milano] for defensive player of the year. … He may not have the stats of TJ Watt or he may not have the stats of Khalil Mack. But this guy, one million percent, is the hub and the nexus. … He brings the wood every time."
In his latest edition of the NFL Power Rankings, lead draft writer for NFL.com Eric Edholm placed the Bills as the third-best team in the league, behind the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Edholm said the Bills are as tough to stop as any team in the league.
"When the defense faltered early, the offense picked up the slack – to the point where it wasn't clear whether Josh Allen or Tua Tagovailoa operated the most explosive group. By the end of the statement victory over Miami, it was fair to say Buffalo's defense had turned in an excellent effort. That's how good teams are built, knowing the heavy lifting won't always be evenly split."
The Bills defense sacked Tagovailoa four times and created consistent pressure for the Miami quarterback while rushing just four defenders for a majority of the game. This allowed the Bills to run a lot of Cover 2 shells, meaning they had insurance in the secondary in case any of the speedy Dolphins receivers beat man coverage. ESPN's Todd McShay went on the Ryen Russillo podcast and spoke about the effectiveness of the Buffalo pass rush.
"The Bills were just more physical. … On defense, I think this is the type of team that is going to give Miami trouble. … They took away the big play. … A lot of times with four man pressures, they were able to get to Tua. ... It was as complete a game as you can have against as hot a team as you can face in Miami."
Check out the best photos from inside the locker room and on the field following Buffalo's big win over Miami.