The Bills seemed to have a decent plan at the running back position heading into last season, but it changed pretty quickly.
Bills fans got to see a glimpse of what Devin Singletary could provide them in the foreseeable future during his rookie season, but now that he’s the unquestioned starter, it’s time to really let the dream come alive.
They released veteran LeSean McCoy a week before the regular season was set to kick-off and he was scooped up by the Kansas City Chiefs not long after. His performance there showed that maybe the Bills didn’t make the worst decision in the world by cutting him.
Buffalo also had long-time NFL running back Frank Gore, who was about to begin his 15th season in the pros and was doing so with his fourth different team (and third in three years). Somehow, someway, Gore continued to be a wrecking ball and he was the team’s go-to plan at the starting position heading into the season.
Gore was still very good, especially for his age (36 is incredibly old for a running back), but the Bills soon discovered that Devin Singletary, their third-round pick in the 2019 draft, was a hidden gem.
Singletary played collegiately at Florida Atlantic where he ran roughshod during his three years there. He rushed for a total of 4,287 yards and 66 touchdowns in those three seasons while also adding 397 receiving yards and another trip to the end zone as a receiver.
If he hadn’t played at a smaller school, Singletary might have been a first- or second-round pick for sure, but instead, he fell to the third round where the Bills gladly scooped him up. They didn’t fully utilize him during his rookie season in 2019, but they certainly will in 2020 now that Gore is continuing his tour of the AFC East and playing for the Jets this year.
That means the RB1 job is Devin Singletary’s to lose
Singletary started eight games for Buffalo last year and appeared in 12 total games. He carried the ball 151 times for 775 yards and two touchdowns and also hauled in 29 receptions for 194 yards and two more touchdowns, giving him four total touchdowns on the year.
Singletary had one game in 2019 where he rushed for over 100 yards, which came against the Broncos in week eight. In that game, he had 21 carries for 106 yards, but wasn’t able to find the end zone.
The big thing with Singletary is that he’ll now be given more opportunities to find the end zone, which wasn’t the case last season. Josh Allen led the team in rushing yards and touchdowns last year and while that’s always been his game since he entered the NFL, it’s also an easy way for him to get injured.
Buffalo needs to start relying on their run game more and Singletary gives them that option. His ability to run the ball effectively while also being able to catch balls out of the backfield is something the Bills need to take advantage of.
Fans saw Singletary in limited action last year, but he’s the starter now with Utah rookie Zack Moss as his backup. This gives the Bills a lethal duo of running backs who should take the pressure off of Allen when it comes to trying to run with the football.
There’s a lot of hype surrounding the Buffalo Bills this year and for good reason. Their biggest nemesis on the Patriots bolted for Tampa Bay this offseason, giving them a solid chance to win the AFC East for the first time since the turn of the millennium. Their defense is one of the best out there and should continue to be a strong force in 2020.
Lastly, the offense has weapons for Allen now, and Singletary is one of those weapons. With a year of NFL experience under his belt, Devin Singletary is going to be a heavy contributor for the Bills and will become one of the most elusive running backs in the NFL in an offense that loves to run the ball.
It should be fun to watch.