Last week, the Buffalo Bills faced a tough task against the Baltimore Ravens defense. They are an excellent defense that does particularly well against the run. The week prior, the Ravens held Derrick Henry, who ran for over 2,000 yards on the season, to only 40 rushing yards.
It certainly wasn’t surprising to see the Buffalo Bills not emphasize the run against the Ravens as they have struggled all year to get consistent production from that part of their offense. On top of that, this was the first game the Bills would be without Zack Moss.
The rookie running back had suffered an ankle injury against the Colts that would cost him the rest of the playoffs.
This week though against the Kansas City Chiefs is a little different as their defense isn’t as tough and this regular season ranked 21st in stopping the run.
On Monday, Brian Daboll said the run game is going to be important this week because it helps control the Chiefs’ offense. The more time the Bills offense is on the field, the less time the Chiefs offense can be on the field which is a win for Buffalo.
However, for the Buffalo Bills to have success on the ground they are going to have to do something different. That may be as simple as calling up Devonta Freeman from the practice squad and seeing how he performs in this offense.
At one time, Devonta Freeman was considered one of the running backs in the NFL. However, that time was back in 2015 and 2016 when he ran for over 1,000 rushing yards and had 11 rushing touchdowns in each season.
Since that stretch though, Freeman has struggled to stay healthy and this past season played with the New York Giants in five games. He did have a stretch from Week 4 to Week 6 where he got double digit carries and had over 60 rushing yards.
The biggest issue for Freeman, and the Bills, is that the veteran running back hasn’t been with the team very long. He was signed shortly after Moss’ injury and by the time Sunday’s game against the Chiefs rolls around, it will be less than two weeks Freeman has been with the team.
The question will be how much of the playbook does he know and could the coaching staff just focus on a few key plays to utilize Freeman as a runner and a pass catcher out of the backfield. On Tuesday, the Buffalo Bills did protect Devonta Freeman on their practice squad which could be an indication they plan on calling him up.
The Buffalo Bills need to find a spark for their run game and it certainly is worth the risk to call up Devonta Freeman this week to see if he can provide that spark.