Zack Moss was a player the Seattle Seahawks had on their radar ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Utah running back finishes every touch violently and punishes opposing defenses. His toughness and elusiveness are a quality that Pete Carroll and John Schneider crave in running back prospects, which is why Seattle met with Moss at the NFL Combine.
But the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year didn’t end up in Seattle. On draft day, Moss was selected 86th overall in the third round by the Buffalo Bills.
Since arriving in upstate New York, the rookie has paired up with 2019 third-round pick Devin Singletary to spark the running game in Buffalo.
“They’re a really good 1-2 punch,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of Moss and Singletary ahead of Sunday’s matchup. “Both guys play low to the ground, they both have good shake-and-bake, make you miss, difficult to tackle. Zach’s a little heavier than Singletary and runs with a little different style in that regard, but both of them are really fishing in traffic and make things happen. They’re not anybody we can take lightly now, they’re really good football players. Singletary catches the ball quite a bit more.
The Bills dynamic tandem is coming off one of their best offensive performances of the season vs. the New England Patriots. Singletary and Moss combined for 167 yards on 28 carries, while Moss added two scores in Buffalo’s 24-21 victory. The duo became the NFL’s third tandem to top 80 yards each in a single game this season.
Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner knows his defense can’t overlook Moss and Singletary on Sunday, even though they entered last week’s game 29th in the league in rushing.
“I think they do a really good job with their gap schemes, trying to get the edge, they do a lot of stretch plays,” Wagner said. "They try to find a softness in your defense and just when you think you have them figured out, they throw in a quarterback stretch or a quarterback draw. It’s just something that you have to play honest and you have to job and be disciplined because I’m pretty sure they’re going to have a different run that we haven’t seen on film yet.
The Seahawks defense gave fans a glimmer of hope in Week 8 with a much-improved performance over the 49ers. Per ESPN Stats & Information, Seattle had its highest blitz rate in any game since 2010 after sending at least one extra pass rusher on 51% of San Francisco’s drop backs, over double this season’s 24% rate.
With Carlos Dunlap adding a spark to Seattle’s front four and Jamal Adams expected to return after missing the past four games with a groin injury, the Seahawks will have more hands on-deck to attack the Bills’ gaps.
"I feel like we were a lot more aggressive and we were able to get in the backfield and get their quarterback off his spot," Wagner said. "Obviously, we still have things to work on, but I think it was a step in the right direction."