Rochdale manager John Coleman admitted his side had no answer to Plymouth's outstanding start to a match which put a dent in the visitors' fine away record.
A Guy Madjo penalty and Andres Gurrieri's header put Carl Fletcher's Pilgrims 2-0 up by the seventh minute to leave Dale's chances of notching up a fifth away win of the campaign in tatters.
Dale forward Bobby Grant missed a spot-kick before Dele Adebola reduced the arrears, but Madjo made the points safe when he converted the game's third opportunity from 12 yards.
"Give Plymouth their due - they came out of the traps and were fantastic," said Coleman. "Sometimes you have to take your hat off to the opposition and, for the first 15 minutes, they were outstanding."
Plymouth boss Fletcher said: "That's three wins on the bounce in all competitions and nine goals in three games, so I'm really pleased. I thought the lads had a great start, and we did what we needed to do. In the first half, we could have kept the ball a bit better, but we always looked dangerous on the break.
"In the second half, we did alright. There weren't too many major chances that we conceded to Rochdale, who had won four of their last five away games. I was pleased with the way we conducted ourselves after they scored, as well. We didn't show signs of edginess or anything like that. We carried on and I'm really pleased we got the win. "
Coleman, who felt both penalty awards against his side were harsh, said: "We weren't good enough in the first 15 minutes and, while we weren't good enough, Plymouth were very, very good.
"They won the game in 15 minutes. It would be smashing if you could win a game in 15 minutes every week like Plymouth have.
"We can't just keep blaming referees - that would be the easy way out - we have got to address our own problems.
"You start with self-analysis: I have got to look at where I could have done better - whether I could have done better with my team selection, whether I could have done better with my tactics."