Down 21-0 in the early minutes of the second quarter, things didn't seem like they could get much worse for the Buffalo Bills.
The following drive, they did.
On a 1st-and-10, Bills starting running back Fred Jackson took the hand-off to the right for a gain of seven. On the stop was Jets linebacker Calvin Pace, who caught Jackson by the left foot causing him to straighten his leg out as he tried to escape his grasp. While the leg was extended, Pace's teammate, safety LaRon Landry, came diving in hitting Jackson around the knee and forcing him to the ground in excruciating pain.
With Buffalo's offense already off to an abysmal start, the loss of Jackson appeared to be the end of their day.
C.J. Spiller had other ideas.
A mere four plays after the injury, the Bills' backup running back took the ball 56 yards to the house to put his team on the board for the first time this season.
The rush was the longest of his three-year career. The 56 yards gained on that play was more then he had amassed on the ground in 25 of his 30 career games.
And he was just getting started.
Though the Bills would eventually fall to New York 48-28, they could walk away with one positive to their otherwise forgettable season opener: the emergence of C.J. Spiller.
The Clemson product finished the game with a career high 169 yards on 14 carries. His long was the aforementioned 56-yard touchdown run, his lone score. He also tacked on a 49-yard gain in the third.
Along with it being a career high, it was also a Week 1 high (excluding the two Monday night games), beating out second-place DeMarco Murray by 38 yards.
Spiller's 12.1 average also beat out every other running back this week.
Pulling down two receptions for 25 yards brought Spiller's yardage total to 194 for the game.
With Jackson getting an MRI Monday on what appears to be a sprained LCL, the time is now for C.J. Spiller.
If today is any indication of what to expect, then the Bills might not be in that bad of shape after all.
*Stats are from ESPN.com and NFL.com.
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