Devin Singletary Impresses in Buffalo Bills Regular Season Debut

Devin Singletary
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 08: Devin Singletary #26 of the Buffalo Bills carries against the New York Jets during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on September 08, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

The Buffalo Bills pulled off a dramatic comeback victory in Week One of the 2019 season. And rookie running back Devin Singletary played a prominent role.

The third-round pick of this year’s draft combined for 98 yards (70 rushing, 28 passing) in a 17-16 win over the New York Jets that saw the Bills erase a 16-0 second-half deficit. Though he didn’t find the end zone, his efforts consistently put the team in position to put points on the board.

Devin Singletary Shines in Buffalo Bills Comeback Win Over New York Jets

Singletary was part of a late-game resurgence after the offense, to put it frankly, sputtered in the first half. The Bills committed four turnovers in the opening 30 minutes, including two Josh Allen interceptions. Linebacker C.J. Mosley returned the first of them for a touchdown, though it must be said it was more a function of wide receiver Cole Beasley‘s inability to haul the pass in than anything Allen did.

Things started to look bleak for Buffalo early in the second half after they went into the locker room down 6-0. They conceded a safety on their first possession after veteran running back Frank Gore was tackled in the end zone. Then the Jets proceeded to march down the field with Sam Darnold finding Le’Veon Bell on a touchdown pass and Gang Green registering a two-point conversion on the following play.

But then the Bills offense proceeded to awake from its slumber. Singletary helped get things started with a 20-yard run on first down that got them into Jets territory. Eight plays later, Stephen Hauschka kicked a 43-yard field goal to give Buffalo their first points of the game.

The Bills defense, itself highly instrumental in making a comeback feasible, responded by forcing a Jets punt on the first play of the fourth quarter. Then Singletary got to work once more. On the ensuing drive, he broke off three runs for a combined 50 yards, including a 15-yard scamper that set up a goal-to-go situation. Allen reprised his role as a playmaker on the ground from his rookie year by running it in on the following play.

After another Jets punt (once again showcasing how good the Bills defense was), Buffalo had their chance to take their first lead of the game. And the offense didn’t disappoint. On this possession, Singletary flashed his ability to catch passes out of the backfield with three grabs from Allen. It included a 12-yard reception that got Buffalo out of a second and 16 hole. The following play, Allen tossed his lone touchdown pass of the game when he found John Brown down the left-hand side of the field.

Brown certainly deserves mention as the star of the game. The off-season signing finished with seven catches totaling 123 yards and the aforementioned touchdown catch which he was able to accomplish despite being interfered with. Through it all, though, Singletary put in a tremendously solid effort in his first regular-season game as a pro. He didn’t score but he made it possible for others to do so. For that reason, he’s arguably this game’s unsung hero.

What makes his effort all the more impressive is the fact that, in many ways, he outplayed one of the league’s top backs in Le’Veon Bell. And much like Bell, Singletary appears to showcase great patience and vision when running the football.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this contest is that this Bills side is a resilient bunch. At the same time, you don’t want to win games in this manner too often. Chalking up a W despite committing four turnovers when the opponent doesn’t turn the ball over once is exceedingly rare. So there’s still a lot of work to do.

But rest assured. Singletary will undoubtedly be a part of that gradual improvement as the season progresses.

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