The Buffalo Bills were left with plenty of questions after a 41-15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, but some insiders believe the game may have also revealed the answer to the team’s rushing woes.
The Bills had been relying on the tandem of Devin Singletary and Zack Moss to carry the rushing load this season, but in the last two weeks have gotten a boost from the speedier Matt Breida. Some are now calling on the Bills to move Breida into the starting spot in the hope that he can give the suddenly struggling offense a boost.
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Breida Leads Backfield Against Colts
While the Bills had split carries between Moss and Singletary almost equally this season, it was the third-string Breida carried the load in the loss to the Colts. Breida had five carries for 51 yards, including a 28-yard run, and also made one catch for 16 yards. While none of the contributions were enough to keep the Bills in the contest, many insiders called on the Bills to make Breida the featured running back for the remainder of the season.
“If Breida isn’t the starter moving forward we’re going to have to have some really tough conversations about what these coaches are seeing,” tweeted Nate Geary, host of the team’s radio broadcast halftime and postgame shows on WGR 550 in Buffalo.
Breida had also provided a spark in the win over the New York Jets, recording a rushing and receiving touchdown. After the performance against New York, Breida earned some praise from Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
“Just the game-breaking speed,” Allen said, via the Buffalo News. “He’s able to make one cut and go. You see it in the passing game, too. … This is a guy that hasn’t had many opportunities throughout the year, but he made the most of it today. It was good to see.”
Bills Offense Struggles
Aside from the win over the Jets, where the Bills got rushing touchdowns from four different players, there has been more than a month of poor performances in the rushing game. Moss has averaged just 3.5 yards per carry this season, his longest carry is just 17 yards. Singletary has been marginally more effective on the ground, with 86 carries for 432 yards and more than 5 yards per carry, but most of his damage came earlier in the season. Singletary has now gone eight games with no more than 45 yards rushing, and had less than 30 yards in seven of those.
As Matt Parrino of Syracuse.com noted, the blame for the poor rushing game extends beyond the running backs.
“The offense continues to deal with two persistent problems: They stymie their own drives with bad penalties and they can’t consistently block in the run game,” Parrino wrote. “Like [defensive lineman Star] Lotulelei, rookie right tackle Spencer Brown was out as he was put on the Covid list earlier in the week. That meant Cody Ford was forced back into the lineup after a dud in Jacksonville a few weeks ago. He actually had a few decent moments and blocks in this game but a horrible false start penalty in the first quarter killed a drive and the Bills offense was never able to recover.”