Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) - The Buffalo Bills deserve a standing ovation.
* - Just so you know, I did stand up and applaud before sitting back down to resume typing.
The Bills' home stadium opened up 50 years ago, and Sunday's shellacking of the previously unbeaten Miami Dolphins has to be one of the more memorable games played in the old building.
I guess the Bills were really tired of hearing how great the Dolphins had looked through their first three games of the 2023 season. There is still a ton of football left this season, but for now, let's just say the Bills emphatically reminded the Dolphins which team is the three-time defending champion of the AFC East.
Offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey put a brilliant game plan together. Josh Allen put on a master class on how to be a big game quarterback in the NFL. Stefon Diggs remains uncoverable.
Last, but not least, you have Bills head coach Sean McDermott, who took over the play-calling duties on defense this season. Just six days after McDermott called what Mike McDaniel was doing with Miami's offense "revolutionary", the Bills head coach and his players reduced it to quite ordinary.
Dorsey did a great job with the offensive plan by, first-and-foremost, letting Allen cook. He also wisely never took his foot off the gas pedal, even though the Bills had a 31-14 lead at halftime.
There were some well-designed plays too, including the touchdown pass to Gabe Davis, who now has a touchdown in three-straight games.
Dorsey's offense was deadly in the red zone. They scored five touchdowns out of six trips inside the Dolphins' 20-yard line.
Allen had the football equivalent of a perfect game, a 158.3 quarterback rating. He got the ball out on time, made throws when he was flushed from the pocket, didn't turn the ball over, and used so many of his weapons with nine different players having, at least, one catch.
The Bills signal caller rose to the occasion like the great quarterbacks do in big games. He ended up with more total touchdowns (5) than incomplete passes (4). Allen was 21-of-25 for 320 yards and four passing scores. He ran for one touchdown, and got an assist on the James Cook rushing touchdown since he was pushing the running back in from behind.
Allen is now 7-0 at home in his career against the Dolphins. The Bills have averaged 38 points in those seven games, and Allen has thrown 24 touchdown passes, while getting picked off just four times. This marked the 10th time Allen had, at least, four touchdown passes in a game, and the 10th time the Bills scored 40 points or more in Allen's five-plus seasons in charge of the offense.
Good things happen when you throw the ball to Diggs.
Miami cornerback Kador Kohou will probably see Diggs beating him in his sleep. Diggs schooled him while rolling up 120 yards receiving and three scores.
On one of the three touchdowns, Diggs spun out of two tackle attempts by Kohou and ran down the sideline for a 55-yard scoring play. Diggs also broke out a "Stone Cold Steve Austin" celebration when he grabbed two beer cans from fans in the stands and smashed them together for a beer shower.
I knew the Bills would need a big game from the offense if they were going to beat Miami. I was thinking it would take, at least, 35 points. As it turns out, the Bills offense could have stopped at 21.
It didn't look promising early for Bills defenders, as the Dolphins opened with back-to-back touchdown drives. They quickly totaled up 147 yards on 14 plays over those two drives.
Then McDermott's group basically smothered them. Miami would score just one touchdown on their next nine drives. There were three punts, three series ending on downs and two turnovers.
This was a Miami team that had punted only five times over the first three games to go along with 18 touchdowns.
It started up front, as for the third-straight week, the defensive line dominated their matchup with the opponents' offensive line.
It has truly been a group effort, as multiple players continue to make plays. At times, the Bills pass rush was able to speed up Tua Tagovailoa, which threw off the all-important timing of the Dolphins' passing game.
Tagovailoa had been sacked just one time in his first three games, but the Bills brought him down four times on Sunday.
But there were other plays where the coverage was so good, Tagovailoa had to hold on to the ball a little longer than he'd like, which also threw off the timing of their plays.
The two big guns, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, were held to a combined 104 yards receiving and neither got into the end zone.
In addition, the 20 points scored was 23 below Miami's season average.
The only negative was an injury to cornerback Tre'Davious White, who missed most of last season recovering from a torn ACL in 2021.
White was carted off the field with an Achilles injury, and it looked pretty bad. The veteran cornerback went down without contact, threw his helmet to the ground and pounded the turf.
As it was last season, his loss would be a huge blow to the defense.
This was a big victory for the Bills, who would have fallen two games behind Miami with a loss, and also been down the tiebreaker.
Enjoy this victory, and don't forget there's Sunday morning football up next for the Bills with a 9:30 a.m. ET kick against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London.