It’s that time of year for football fans. Free agency and the draft are firmly in the rear-view mirror and training camps are still (hopefully) a little more than a month away. It’s a dead zone where opinions and “what could bes” fly around.
With that in mind, an article from The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia touched on ten things about this year’s Buffalo Bills. Ten to be exact—and one of them stuck out. In the article, Kapadia said that “Apologies to a player who’s had a great career, but Frank Gore killed them.” He points out that despite Devin Singletary and Josh Allen having pretty good years, the Bills were only ranked 17th in rushing efficiency.
As Bills fans who watched the offense sputter when Gore was in already know, an upgrade was needed. Buffalo was extremely predictable and not very explosive when Gore was on the field and touched the ball. Singletary’s play made the drop off to Gore very noticeable.
With Gore now a member of the New York Jets, Buffalo drafted promising rookie Zack Moss, who rushed for more than 1,400 yards at 6 yards a clip in 2019 for Utah. Don’t sleep on T.J. Yeldon either—he may see an increased role.
While a better rushing attack is always desirable, it will really benefit Josh Allen. Kapadia says that the Bills were 20th in terms of passes off play-action, but that Allen was in the top half of the league on play-action passes. So an improved run game, or even the threat of a pass every down regardless of personnel, should help Allen continue to progress and bring more consistency to the offense.
For those who argue that Gore’s leadership and presence will be missed, Allen and Dion Dawkins seem more than ready to take that mantle. It shouldn’t be dismissed that Singletary helps fill some of that void as well, especially since he was in Gore’s hip pocket seemingly all of last year.
All in all, as long as the backs stay healthy and Singletary cuts back on fumbles (four last year), the Bills run game should improve considerably. A byproduct of that may also be more improvement from Buffalo’s most important player in 2020: Josh Allen.