MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WIVB) — You couldn’t ask for anything more from the Bills defense than what it did in week two against the Dolphins.
After the loss to Pittsburgh last week, Bills safety Jordan Poyer was very hard on himself and the defense as a whole saying they didn’t find one way to take the ball away and to them, that was the difference in the game.
Seven days later there was no doubt about how the defense played as it absolutely dominated the Dolphins in a week two 35-0 win in South Florida.
“This team has been together long enough where we’ve dealt with wins, we’ve dealt with losses, we’ve learned how to do both. Coming out today just shows what this team is about,” Bills safety Jordan Poyer said after the game.
“We took a tough loss last week but we were able to bounce back and offense came to play, defense came to play and so did special teams so we just want to continue with this momentum moving forward.”
This was the first time the Bills shut out an opponent since 2016. They ended with six sacks, eight quarterback hits, ten tackles for loss and six pass breakups plus two turnovers as Levi Wallace had an interception then Taron Johnson forced a fumble that Matt Milano recovered. The defense also stopped the Dolphins on all four attempts to convert on 4th down. And on special teams, the Bills were able to recover a muffed punt by Jaylen Waddle as Taiwan Jones came up with it.
“Takeaways are a big part of the game. You win the turnover battle then you’re most likely gonna win the football game so we wanted to come out here this week and we wanted to do just that,” Bills safety Micah Hyde said.
The Dolphins had no answer for the Bills pass rush that spent so much time improving in the offseason and it really flashed on Sunday.
Bills’ defensive coordinator was aggressive and blitzed early and often with defensive backs as Taron Johnson and Micah Hyde both had sacks on the Dolphins opening drive that went three and out. Also, recording sacks in the game were Milano, Justin Zimmer and rookie defensive end Greg Rousseau who had two.
“Fraz [Leslie Frazier] was dialing it up man. There were a few times I came off the field and I was dapping Fraz up like excellent calls mixing it up, sending guys, we were able to get a lot of pressure on 1st down, 2nd down and also on 3rd down you know the guys up front were eating so just excellent job by Fraz,” Hyde explained.
AJ Epenesa also really stood out in this game and was able to get a ton of pressure even on a play where he got to Tua Tagovailoa on the Dolphins’ second drive of the game. He was slow to get up but eventually walked off with trainers then was carted off the field with a rib injury at first listed as questionable to return but downgraded to out.
Even though Jacoby Brissett was able to play better, the pressure didn’t stop and Miami still had no way to slow down the Bills’ defense.
“We were just men on a mission this week and wanted to come down here and get a win,” Hyde said.
Heather Prusak is a sports reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2020. See more of her work here.
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