Surprising Bills Starter Deserves ROTY Consideration: Insider

Spencer Brown

Getty Spencer Brown awaits a snap in a game against the Chicago Bears.

The Buffalo Bills finally turned around their rushing game in Sunday’s win over the New York Jets, but many insiders believe it was someone outside the backfield who really got the ground attack kick-started.

The Bills rushed for four touchdowns and 139 yards — on a healthy 5.8 yards per carry — against the Jets, a significant improvement over the previous four games where running backs Zack Moss and Devin Singletary ran for a combined 182 yards on 54 carries. While there were some strong individual performances out of the backfield on Sunday, some believe that right tackle Spencer Brown was the real engine of the rushing game.

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Brown Returns, Bills Roll

Prior to the 45-17 win over the Jets on November 14, Brown had missed the previous two contests after suffering a back injury. His impact on Sunday was immediate. On a 15-yard touchdown run from Matt Breida, a pulling Brown delivered a crushing block and opened up a lane that the speedy Brieda hit as he raced toward the endzone.

After the game, Bills head coach Sean McDermott praised Brown for the energy he brought to the offense.

“We ran the ball I thought effectively, in particular in the second half, mostly in the third quarter. He’s a young player, let’s not put him in the Hall of Fame yet, okay, please, help me with that,” McDermott joked to reporters, via “He is a young player that has to continue to learn what it takes to play in this league and he knows that and that humble and hungry approach is real and we need to carry that forward next week.”

The performance earned Brown some accolades and at least one suggestion that he could be a surprising entry into the race for NFL Rookie of the Year, which is normally reserved for offensive skill players.

“Not sure I’m totally kidding when I say Spencer Brown should be considered for Rookie of the Year,” tweeted Nate Geary, the pregame and halftime host of the team’s radio broadcast on WGR 550.

Bills Running Attack a Team Effort

Throughout the season, the Bills have employed a running-back-by-committee with Moss and Singeltary splitting carries close to equally in all games. On Sunday, that committee expanded by a few. The team had rushing touchdowns from four different players, including Breida who had been a healthy scratch in most games this season. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll also got the wide receivers involved, with Emmanuel Sanders taking an end-around for 24 yards and fellow receiver and jet-sweep specialist Isaiah McKenzie taking another eight yards for a touchdown on the very next play.

Sanders had said before Sunday’s game that it would take contributions from all players on offense to get the rushing attack going again.

“The running game is a team effort. It starts in the receiving room, from us blocking, to the O-line to everybody,” Sanders said, via ESPN. “I think the running game is always an effort deal. Blocking is effort and giving effort in the run game and the running back is going to flourish. I feel like we can be better at that, and I know I can be better at it.”

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