Zack Moss finished the shutout win against the Dolphins with eight rushes for 26 yards, two touchdowns and a fumble. Moss revealed after the game that there was a lot more on his mind than just football.
"I had a long weekend," Moss shared. "I just lost my – I had to bury my aunt yesterday morning. So then just having to come out here 24 hours later and have a fumble in a big game that we definitely needed, I just had to just get my mentals right and just switch over."
The South Florida native took the time that he needed to be with his family on Saturday during the challenging time. His teammates and coaches were understanding of the circumstances and Moss had the mental toughness to focus his mind on football for Sunday's game. Moss summed up his mentality throughout the weekend with two words – it's life.
"Just going from having ups and having downs in just 24 hours – I'm just thankful for just being able to play this game, because a lot of other things in life are way more important," Moss said. "But I get a chance to come out here and play this game. So super happy and super blessed just to be able to play and have the game that I did have with the rebound."
On the Bills third drive of the game, Moss fumbled the ball which was recovered by Miami. At this point, Moss was at an all-time low, but his mentality never wavered. He needed to prove to himself and his team that he could make up for that miscue throughout the rest of the ball game.
"I need to pay myself back first and this team," Moss said. … "For Coach McDermott just to continue to say that he trusts me every time I've seen him was big for me. I just knew I definitely needed to come back out and do what I needed to do."
After the fumble, McDermott and the coaching staff never lost faith in Moss and showed that by having Moss back in the lineup when it mattered the most. The Bills running back had six rushes for 15 yards and two rushing touchdowns following the turnover and Moss gained confidence in himself being put in the game when the team got in the red zone. McDermott was proud of how Moss responded in the game after an early mistake.
"Well, I thought it was important that he was able to reset and remain mentally tough, McDermott said. "He came back and he made some really tough runs, particularly the last one at the end on the touchdown. That's a great message to everyone and anyone on our football team that you're going to make some mistakes and you've got to be able to come back get your game back and that's what your teammates need from you."
Moss thought back to a game late last season against San Francisco where he fumbled deep in Buffalo territory and used that experience to help him reset on Sunday. Moss knew from the moment he got back on the field that he had to make the most of the upcoming opportunities, especially towards the goal line.
"Just make them count," Moss stated. "We know as running backs that if you don't make them count down there, the chance of you getting another one is very slim. There's a chance that it might go in the air. So, I just wanted to make sure that when I did get it I made sure that I had crossed that white line so that we couldn't go in the air and I didn't have to block anyone."
Here are a few additional notes from inside the locker room after the Bills 35-0 win.
"A dawg" - Jordan Poyer highly compliments Taron Johnson after the game
Bills nickel corner Taron Johnson has played extremely well in back-to-back weeks for Buffalo. This season he has 10 tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack, one QB hit, two PBUs and a forced fumble. Johnson sacked Tua Tagovailoa on the first play of the game on Sunday which started the momentum for this Bills defense to have the day that they did. After the game, safety's Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde were raving about how Johnson has played so far this season.
"Pound for pound, just the best nickel in the league," Poyer said. "This dude just comes to work every single day just believing that he's the best. He went out there, to me, it was amazing watching him play today. You don't even got to finish the sentence. Just the way he played today was incredible. Incredible."
Greg Rousseau shines in first game back home
Greg Rousseau returned to where he played college ball for the first time in 670 days. The rookie balled out in his "homecoming" and got consistent pressure on Miami's quarterbacks. Rousseau ended the day with his first two career sacks, five total tackles, two tackles for loss, and two QB hits. With around 15 family members in attendance for Rousseau, this is one game that the rookie will never forget. Even with all his success, Rousseau still gave credit to his teammates after the win.
"It was a blessing, Rousseau said. "It was a lot of fun out there. But really, even though I might get the sack, it's just a testament to the secondary, linebackers, the d-line, all of us getting there. It was really a group effort. So, some people might get the numbers, but really, it's the whole, all 11 of us."
Dion Dawkins knows the Bills have the right players to accomplish anything
After the loss to the Steelers last Sunday, these Bills players were dead set on making sure they corrected their mistakes in week two against Miami. They were angry and they were focused throughout the week and translated to the field in the 35-0 win. Dion Dawkins explained how the team was able to bounce back and what that says about them
"It just says that we learned from our mistakes and that we know how to let things go and move on to what's next," Dawkins said. "That just shows the type of character of the guys that we have in our locker room, that we did not let what happened last week destroy us. Because something like that can destroy a football team, any loss, especially home. … But for the guys that we have in our locker room to put that to bed and moved on with a fresh start, that just shows that we have the right guys to get this thing done."