Hall of Fame tight end and NFL analyst Shannon Sharpe proposes a radical solution to fix the Buffalo Bills run game: trade for Saquon Barkley.
Heading into the 2022 NFL season, despite being a widespread Super Bowl favorite, the Buffalo Bills took the field with one major deficiency: they have little by way of a run game.
For the first two weeks of the season, that largely didn’t matter. But during a Week 4 matchup in which the Bills faced the Ravens — and remnants of Hurricane Ian in Baltimore — the absence of a run game has made running their aerial offense all that much more difficult.
Without a run game and facing inclement weather, the Ravens effectively shut down Josh Allen through the first half, holding the high-scoring Bills to just 105 passing yards while completing just half of their passing attempts.
Lamar Jackson didn’t have much more by way of yards at halftime — 108 passing yards, completing 12 of 16 passing attempts — but the Baltimore rushing attack was doubly successful. The Ravens had 71 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown from J.K. Dobbins.
By contrast, the Bills had just 34 rushing yards: 17 yards from Allen, and a combined 17 yards from Devin Singletary and Zack Moss. Singletary also had a fumble, which quickly resulted in a Ravens field goal.
For games like this, Hall of Fame tight end and NFL analyst Shannon Sharpe has a simple yet drastic solution. To become a true Super Bowl contender, the Bills should go big and trade for one of the best running backs in the game: New York Giants centerpiece Saquon Barkley.
Should the Bills consider a trade for Saquon Barkley?
It’s a splashy move to suggest trading for Barkley, and the Bills would have to consider what they’re willing to give up to land the NFL’s No. 2 rushing leader so far this season.
But if the Bills want to sell their future for a chance at a ring either this season or the next, having someone like Barkley crash through defensive lines could certainly play in their favor.
After all, it’s not as if their running woes are limited to this season. When the New England Patriots defeated the Bills last December, it was the headline of the game: “Patriots out-run Bills in 14-10 win in blustery conditions.”
Barkley is a big name to go for, but the Los Angeles Rams did make two Super Bowls by targeting some of the game’s biggest free agents. Their big trade for Matthew Stafford ultimately paid off in a Super Bowl ring, too. The Bills kicked off their season by even poaching one of those lucrative Rams trades by signing Von Miller — a significant acquisition, one that should be contemplated on the other side of the ball.
Whatever the Bills decide to do, their run game needs to be addressed, and soon. Otherwise, they’ll likely pass their way through the season until they hit playoff football, which isn’t a gauntlet any quarterback can easily pass their way through.