No respect given for the Buffalo Bills running back room

Many don't believe the Buffalo Bills are very good with respect to their running backs as a unit. Fans are always clamoring for a trade or signing of some big name back. Apparently, those fans aren't the only ones that are down on the Bills backfield.
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages

The Buffalo Bills are a pass-first team. Make no mistake about it and that is who they will continue to be as long as Josh Allen is under center. But that's not to say they can't run the ball or don't have the talent to be a good rushing team. You don't have to have a 1,500-yard rusher to have a good ground game. You just have to be efficient when you do run the ball.

There were moments last season when a good ground attack would have been big, particularly against the Minnesota Vikings. If the Bills could have milked the clock with a time-consuming run game, the Vikings don't win that game. But the Bills made some changes this off-season to their backfield and more importantly, upfront along the offensive line.

Despite these changes and what I believe to be upgrades, PFF apparently doesn't agree, ranking the Buffalo Bills backfield unit 26th among the 32 NFL teams. Here is what PFF had to say about the Bills running back room.

"The combination of James Cook and Damien Harris at the top of the Bills running back depth chart feels pretty similar to the pairing of Devin Singletary and Zack Moss. Cook was solid as a rookie, earning a 76.8 PFF rushing grade and forcing 22 missed tackles on 106 carries, but he never had a game where he saw 15 or more carries. Harris has produced PFF rushing grades of 77.0 or better in each of the past three seasons and while Nyheim Hines seemed like the perfect fit in the passing game for the Bills, he saw more than double the targets and receptions in the first half of the season with the Colts than he did after his trade to Buffalo."

Pro Football Focus

I have an issue with comparing Cook and Harris to the tandem of Singletary and Moss. Did anyone at PFF actually watch Zack Moss play last season or at any point in his career? Harris is a far more accomplished and talented running back than Moss.

Secondly, while I'm a big Singletary fan, Cook is simply more explosive and can bring that home run threat to the field, that Singletary does not possess. I don't believe the Bills will run the ball any more than they did last season, but I do think their run game will be far more efficient. With the addition of both Harris and Latavius Murray, they won't have to rely on Josh Allen in those short-yardage situations.

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