Fred Jackson: Buffalo Bills Will Stay Afloat Without Versatile RB

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 12, 2012

Sept 9, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson (22) breaks a tackle by New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott (57) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Despite news that running back Fred Jackson will be out for the next few weeks with an injured knee suffered in Week 1 against the New York Jets, the Buffalo Bills (0-1) will be just fine as they prepare to face two beatable opponents in Kansas City and Cleveland.

However, the Bills received some encouraging news this week.

Jackson expects to return sooner than later, according to Buffalo television sports director Jeff Russo (via Twitter):

#Bills Fred Jackson says he feels good. Believes a return in four weeks realistic "if not sooner"

— Jeff Russo (@JeffRussoWKBW) September 12, 2012


Even without Jackson, there is plenty to get excited about in Buffalo. 

Heading into Week 2 the Bills boast the NFL's No. 1-ranked rushing offense. Buffalo ran for 195 yards on just 26 carries in Week 1, averaging a tremendous 7.5 yards per carry against the Jets. 

Jackson left the game with 15 yards on six carries, but it was third-year running back C.J. Spiller that absolutely assaulted New York on the ground. 

Spiller rushed for 169 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries (no, that's not a misprint). He averaged a superhuman 12 yards per carry for the game.

The former Clemson Tiger averaged 5.2 yards per carry last season with the Bills on 107 attempts and broke out for a 111-yard effort against the Denver Broncos last Christmas Eve. So his incredible Week 1 effort on the ground certainly didn't catch anyone in Buffalo off-guard.

In addition to having a phenomenal backup to replace Jackson in the offense, the Bills have a favorable schedule over the next two weeks. 

Buffalo will host the Chiefs in Week 2 and visit the Browns in Week 3. Kansas City had just the 15th-best run-stopping performance last Sunday and will certainly be less effective on the road this weekend. 

Meanwhile, Cleveland ranked 27th, allowing 150 rushing yards to the Philadelphia Eagles on only 30 attempts. If Philly can average 5.0 yards per rush against the Browns on the road, then the Bills are in for a big performance in Week 3.

Spiller will have a great shot at surpassing 100 yards rushing in both of those matchups based on what he did to the Jets defense to open the season.

Considering that Jackson is set to return to the offense in a matter of weeks, and the fact that Spiller is on the cusp of becoming the next great NFL home run threat, I would say that the Buffalo Bills are just fine for now. 

The Bills should win their next two games and be sitting comfortably at 2-1 by Week 4 when they are set to face the New England Patriots at home. 


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