Bills 35, Dolphins 0: Five Takeaways from rare NFL shutout

Buffalo's offense reverted to previous week's form after a quick start, turning game into a struggle for a while. But its defense was out of this world throughout.

Quarterback Josh Allen struggled once again, but his Buffalo Bills teammates, particularly on defense, picked him up in a big way Sunday in a 28-0 win over the Miami Dolphins.

Here are five instant takeaways from the game, in which pulled the Bills (1-1) even with Miami and New England, which beat the New York Jets Sunday, atop the AFC East.

1. Josh Allen still seeks form

He completed just 17 of 33 passes. One of them was intercepted and three more of them probably should have been. But in the end, Allen made enough decent throws and more than enough plays with his legs on a day when the offense wasn't under as much usual pressure to score.

What Allen still does at a high level is elude the rush, extend plays and flat-out run. His average of 7.0 yards on five carries against the Dolphins was a game high.

Where he goes from here is uncertain, but it's clear his accuracy is not the same, and his decisions with the football under duress aren't, either.

2. Defense could be 2020 offense

The Bills' defense could is on pace to being as good in 2021 as their offense was in 2020, which would be an even more incredible feat, considering great defense is virtually impossible to play every week because of all the rules changes over the last two decades that have worked to dramatically promote more scoring.

But the Bills have done an incredible job through the first two weeks, limiting opponents to one touchdown. Remember, the Steelers scored two touchdowns last week, but one came on a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown.

Through two games, the Bills have allowed just 468 yards on 125 plays. That's an average of 3.7 yards per play, which would be unheard of over the course of a season.

On Sunday, they knocked starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa out of the game in the first quarter and made life a living hell for his replacement, Jacoby Brissett. They finished with 6.0 sacks, 11 quarterback hits, an interception and seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

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3. Devin Singletary shines again

Running back Devin Singletary came into the season with much to prove and has done more than could be reasonably expected through two games.

Sunday, he carried 13 times for 82 yards and touchdown and caught two of three targets for 9 yards. That gives him 154 yards on 24 carries through two games, if you'e keeping score at home.

4. Levi Wallace bounces back

Another player with much to prove coming into 2021 was cornerback Levi Wallace, who was picked on more and more toward the end of last week's loss to the Steelers — with less than optimal results.

That trend continued in this game, with much better results.

Wallace was called for a taunting penalty in the first quarter but came back two plays later with an interception that perfectly illustrated just how tricky it is to throw into the teeth of Buffalo's zone defense.

He also broke up two passes and had two tackles before leaving with what appeared to be cramps.

5. Greg Rousseau looking like a grand slam

Bills general manager Brandon Beane trusted his instinct to deviate from his usual behavior and resist trading up in the first round of this year's NFL Draft, possibly for a prospect other than defensive end Greg Rousseau.

He has to be a happy man.

What the Bills were able to get by staying put at No. 30 overall was an instant starter at defensive end and someone who on Sunday finished with 2.0 sacks to lead the team in that category.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro. Email to Nicky300@aol.com.