ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – I’ll bet the Bills defense was sick of hearing the number 70 talking about how many points the Dolphins put up last week against the Broncos. So they had a performance that had everyone talking about them and not Miami’s offense.
The Bills dominated Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins in a 48-20 win at Highmark Stadium in Week 4.
“Yeah we heard a lot about it [the Dolphins’ 70 point game], that’s pretty rare to happen. Watching the tape from last week big play after big play after big play not just from the receivers but from the backs to the quarterback from everybody,” Micah Hyde said after the game.
“So we knew going into this game, ultimately we’re a defense that tries not to give up big plays, everybody can say that around the league but we’ve been successful doing that since ’17 so we’re gonna stick to our DNA and from there we’ll that’s when we’ll ball out and see what happens,” Hyde continued. “So that’s kind of our mindset.”
Coming into the game, so much was made of how quickly Tagovailoa gets the ball out, faster than any quarterback in the league and because of it pass rushers had a hard time getting to him. That’s a big reason why he was only sacked once before this game.
But the Bills ended with four sacks and nine quarterback hits. Greg Rousseau had two sacks while Ed Oliver and DaQuan Jones each had one.
“Just rush and coverage working together, we knew he was a time and thrower, he’s trying to get the ball out of his hands but with the offense scoring points it turned the game into more of a dropback game for him where he had to hold it a little bit that’s really what’s the difference,” Ed Oliver said after the game.
The secondary also did a great job taking away Tagovailoa’s first read and that also forced him to hold onto the ball a little bit longer than he would have wanted to.
“They did a great job and you saw the first couple series we were kind of feeling it out and getting in a rhythm of what they’re doing and you saw guys kind of lock it up after that third drive and they did a hell of a job just being on their keys and doing their job and keeping their man in front of them. It gave us an opportunity to go out there and eat,” DaQuan Jones explained.
The first few drives of the game played out pretty much how most people thought it would, as an offensive shootout with both teams trading touchdowns. Both the Bills and Dolphins found the end zone on their first two drives (the Bills scored on three straight). But the Bills defense really settled in after the first two Dolphins touchdowns and forced them to punt on their third series. In fact, Miami only scored once more the rest of the way, on their opening drive in the second half.
“I think the players just settled in, I didn’t call anything differently. Overall the guys just did a really good job of just settling down, catching their breath a little bit,” Sean McDermott explained. “That’s a fast offense, they do a lot of motioning and movement so I think it’s hard to simulate that in practice. I think when it first started on us it was, it had us on our heels a little bit even from a fundamental standpoint but they stuck with the process, stayed resilient.”
The Bills continued to take the ball away as they came up with two turnovers in this game. Micah Hyde picked off Tua for his first interception at Highmark Stadium since their wild card win over the Patriots in January of 2022. It’s also the second straight game Hyde has an interception after picking off Sam Howell last week.
Matt Milano also forced a fumble on Raheem Mostert and for the second week in a row, Terrel Bernard was there for a fumble recovery.