Publish date:

The Morning After: Reflecting on Bills' 35-0 Triumph Over Dolphins

Coach Sean McDermott said he thought team played with a hunger.

Here's what went right for the Buffalo Bills in Sunday's 35-0 victory over the Miami Dolphins: Everything.

We'll be taking a look at many of those components in this weekly feature that reviews each game in an attempt to portray where the Bills stand and why.

Little guys can hit

The best hitters on the Bills, pound for pound, are their defensive backs. Their cornerbacks are ready and willing and ... vicious tacklers, as nickel back Taron Johnson proved with a forced fumble and Levi Wallace showed before a taunting penalty that came after running over DeVante Parker on a pass breakup.

But their leading tackler on this day? Cornerback Tre'Davious White, with nine.

How odd is that?

Moss battles

Running back Zack Moss didn't do much to help his case for getting back into the running-back rotation when he fumbled the ball away on his third touch of the game.

Moss would rebound, though, to finish with 26 hard-earned yards on eight carries and two receptions for 8 yards. Four of his runs went for first downs, including a pair of TD bursts.

Afterward, he revealed that he was dealing with a personal tragedy.

"I had a long weekend," Moss said. "I had to bury my aunt yesterday morning. Then to come out here 24 hours later and have a fumble in a big game that we really needed, you know I just had to get my mental right and switch over ... and I was able to pick it up for the team.

"... I just wanted to come out here and play the game. Kind of a rough start to it. But just going back out there and being able to finish the right way, the coaches allowing me to do that, was big."

What this portends for the rest of the season is unclear. Moss was inactive in Week 1, when backup Matt Breida was their No. 2 back and received four carries, albeit for only 4 net yards.

Breida played just two snaps with the offense and eight special-teams snaps against the Dolphins on Sunday. He had no touches.

Protection issues still present

Although the offensive line played better in clearing the way for 143 rushing yards, there was leakage, particularly on the right side with tackle Daryl Williams, who signed a three-year contract extension in March.

The money likely means they won't be so quick to give up on him, but it's important to note that the team is high on rookie draft picks Spencer Brown and Tommy Doyle.

Brown has served as their reserve swing tackle for the last two weeks, while Doyle has been inactive.

If Williams' struggles continue, don't be surprised if one or both of them start to see some snaps beyond special teams.

Welcome home

Rookie defensive end Greg Rousseau tallied a game-high two sacks, the first two of his career, in the same stadium where he played all his home games for the University of Miami.

"That was pretty cool," Rousseau said. "... Had a lot of great memories here, had my whole family here. So it was a blessing to be able to come back and play in my home town and have a solid game."

Big plays

The Bills had plenty of them in this game.

Running back Devin Singletary exploded through a giant hole for a 46-yard touchdown run to open the scoring on the Bills' second play from scrimmage.

Wide receiver Stefon Diggs leaped over cornerback Xavien Howard, widely considered the NFL's finest cornerback, to catch a contested pass for a 41-yard to set up Buffalo's final touchdown.

Wallace responded to his taunting penalty two plays later with an interception and 14-yard return.

A 35-yard reception by Emmanuel Sanders set up Buffalo's second touchdown, which came three plays later on a pass from Josh Allen to Diggs on third-and-goal from the 5-yard line.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro. Email to