Buffalo Bills don’t need a traditional run game to win a Super Bowl

Josh Allen, Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Josh Allen, Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

At roughly the quarter point of the season, the Buffalo Bills are 3-1 and there haven’t been many glaring weaknesses to this point. However, one that would appear to be a problem is the lack of a run game from the running backs.

Through the first four games, the top three running backs (Devin Singletary, Zack Moss, and James Cook) have only 271 rushing yards, an average of 68 yards per game. The team’s leading rusher is Josh Allen, who has 183 rushing yards so far this season.

The lack of run game might seem like a concern but having a balanced offense isn’t necessarily imperative to being successful and ultimately winning a Super Bowl. These are the last three Super Bowl winners and where they ranked in rushing yards that season:

  • 2021 – Los Angeles Rams (25th)
  • 2020 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (28th)
  • 2019 – Kansas City Chiefs (23rd)

Buffalo Bills have found their own version of a run game

The idea behind having a balanced offense is that it is a way to keep defenses guessing on how to defend the offense. If teams don’t run the ball at all, it allows teams to back up and drop more players into coverage, which limits throwing lanes.

However, the Buffalo Bills are in a unique position in that they can do a couple of things to keep defenses honest and not allow them to consistently drop back into coverage.

The first is the rushing ability of Josh Allen, who is a big, athletic quarterback that has an ability to scramble that will force teams to have linebackers spy and respect the run. While the coaching staff doesn’t want Allen to run 15 or 20 times a game, having the option will limit teams sitting back.

The other way is utilizing the short passing game, and getting the ball to running backs in space. This is the ideal situation for the Buffalo Bills because it keeps the ball in the hands of their best player, Josh Allen, but also forces defenses to cover more of the field.

In the past two weeks, Devin Singletary has had 13 receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown. In these two games, the average depth of target has been 1.1 yards in Week 3 and -1.6 yards in Week 4. These have been essentially extended handoffs and Singletary is averaging 9.6 yards per reception in these games.

These types of passes also have a high completion rate so quick throws to Devin Singletary, or James Cook once he becomes more involved, keeps the clock moving, and has generated positive yards consistently.

While a balanced offense would be great, it isn’t necessary for the Buffalo Bills to be successful this season, particularly with the way they have incorporated the running backs the past two weeks.