Don’t get it twisted — just because the Buffalo Bills want to be more efficient in the run game doesn’t mean they want to run the ball more. In 2020, despite the Bills' success on offense, the team struggled to find a rhythm in the run game.
The Bills finished with the 20th ranked rushing attack in the NFL as they averaged just under 108 yards per game. Moving forward, Bills GM Brandon Beane feels that's an area where they need to improve.
That doesn’t mean the Bills identity will change, they’re still very much a pass-heavy offense. But in 2021, the goal will be to find more success on the ground.
"I think it's unfair to look at the running backs to point blame on the running game," Beane said during his end of the season zoom call with reporters. "Running the football is very complex. It's the offensive line, it's the tight ends, it's the receivers. If one guy doesn't make his block, the play is probably dead."
In 19 games the Bills played this season, we failed to see either Singletary or Moss emerge as the clear cut starter. Moss was starting to gain some momentum towards the end of the season but missed the Bills final two games after suffering a season-ending injury in the Wild Card round. In 13 games played the Bills rookie running back rushed for 481 yards on 112 attempts [4.3 yards per carry]. Moss added four rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown.
Singletary, who finished with 44 more carries than Moss, rushed for 687 yards on 156 attempts. The second-year back finished with just two touchdowns on the season and averaged 4.4 yards per carry. Singletary  edged out Moss  in receptions.
"There were times this year where we were one guy away, again, whether it was a tight end or it was a lineman, and it's a big gainer," Beane added. "And you're going like, gosh, if we just get this guy blocked. We had that at times. I'm not saying there's no blame. Sometimes the running back missed the hole, but it's one of those things you have to practice. You've got to emphasize it. You've got to work on it. And that's something that we'll definitely look at, but I'm not looking at Devin Singletary and Zack Moss thinking those guys came up short for us."
With both TJ Yeldon and Taiwan Jones set to become free agents, the Bills will likely add another back unless they're willing to roll with Antonio Williams as RB3. Bringing back Jones would make a lot of sense if the team can afford to re-sign him -- he's one of the most important special teams contributors on the roster.
Drafting another running back is an option and is one that will be heavily discussed between now and the NFL Draft in April. The Bills are in the sweet spot of the first round where we often see top-tier running backs selected. The first two names that will come to mind are Alabama running back Najee Harris and Clemson back Travis Etienne. Harris is becoming a popular pick for the Bills in the way too early mock drafts and if nothing else, it's a fun thing to talk about.
The Bills have plenty of options but it's still too early to give up on Singletary or Moss. Both players come with incredibly affordable contracts next season and with a shrinking salary cap, their current deals become that much more valuable. The Bills needed to do a better job running the ball but at what cost? Let the offseason storylines continue!