Buffalo Bills: Running backs remain the most interesting offensive battle

On offense, pretty much everything is already decided for the Buffalo Bills. There are no questions regarding Josh Allen at quarterback, the wide receiver depth chart is pretty much established, and the offensive line will return largely the same as it was in 2020.

The only position that remains unsettled for the team’s offense with two preseason games to go is running back. After missing the first preseason game with an injury, Zack Moss will play in Saturday’s contest against the Chicago Bears, which means all three of Moss, Devin Singletary, and Matt Breida will be in action.

After last week’s game against the Detroit Lions, it appears there is now a real battle between Moss and Singletary for the starting role. While early reports from training camp stated that Moss had been the better back, Singletary turned in a very impressive performance in Week 1 of the preseason that’s certainly put him in the starter’s conversation.

The third-year tailback earned 42 yards on eight carries while also adding one reception for six yards and a score against the Lions. The effort firmly established him ahead of Breida on the depth chart and serves as a solid building block for the 23-year-old.

It also puts some pressure on Moss, who hasn’t been very active this offseason. The second-year running back was limited during offseason training activities as he recovered from ankle surgery and has now missed valuable time in training camp with a hamstring injury.

It’s worth noting that neither running back did much to separate themself last year, either. On 156 carries in 2020, Singletary posted 4.4 yards per attempt while Moss averaged 4.3 yards per attempt on 112 rushes. Singletary was used more in the receiving game than Moss, however, as he totaled 38 receptions while Moss handled just 14 passes through the air. Neither proved to be much of a difference-maker in the passing attack, though.

It’ll be worth keeping an eye on how the touches between the two RBs are distributed to start the game, as that’ll likely be a good indicator of how the coaching staff views the two.

The depth chart battle for the third running back spot will also be worth monitoring for Buffalo Bills fans, too. After Breida, Antonio Williams, and Reggie Gilliam all failed to break 3.0 yards per carry against Detroit, a crucial opportunity awaits all three against Chicago.

Gilliam’s spot seems safe as he was a regular on special teams last year, but neither Breida nor Williams profiles as a major special teams contributor, so their performances on offense will be viewed closely by the Buffalo Bills’ coaching staff and front office.