Buffalo Bills: 3 Things to Expect from Bills RBs for Week 2
So what can they expect out of their healthy RBs in Week 2?
Jackson sprained his right LCL on a hit that looked like it was certainly going to be season-ending. So the prognosis of him possibly being back within a month is good news for a team looking to take any positive out of that debacle.
C.J. Spiller, who filled in for an injured Jackson in the final six games of last season, now assumes the starting role.
He had a career day on Sunday with 169 yards and a TD on only 14 carries. Not that it mattered, as Ryan Fitzpatrick looked terrible in throwing three INTs.
The new-look Bills defense also turned in a pathetic performance, making an average Jets offense look like they were the best in the league.
So what's the game plan for Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs?
Ahead, we'll look at three things to expect from the Bills RBs in that game as they look to erase the memory of the opener as quickly as possible.
1. Spiller Will Get the Ball Early and Often
If the Bills' offensive minds paid any attention last week, C.J. Spiller should be carrying the ball more than ever come Sunday.
Although not known for his ability to run between the tackles, Spiller is as dangerous as any RB in open space. The coaches, in turn, need to give him those opportunities as much as they can.
Ryan Fitzpatrick's performance, or lack thereof, would also seem to dictate the Bills running the ball more. He was blatantly locking onto his WRs against the Jets, which led to him throwing those three INTs.
His arm strength doesn't allow him to make throws an Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady can make. He needs to understand his best chance for success vs. Kansas City will be getting Spiller the ball in the open field.
With that said, though, don't anticipate Spiller toting the ball 30 times on Sunday. However, head coach Chan Gailey should be adamant about getting him at least 25 touches.
Buddy Nix and Co. drafted Spiller because they thought he would be a game-changer. This is their chance to hand him the majority of the workload and ride him to a victory in the home opener.
2. They'll Be Heavily Involved in the Passing Game
As we've mentioned, Spiller is unlikely to have more than 25 carries.
That doesn't mean that they won't find other ways to get the ball in his hands, though. There's no reason you shouldn't expect the Bills to draw up some easy screen plays in the beginning of the game.
It'll be a key to winning by getting Ryan Fitzpatrick's confidence back in the first few drives. Set Spiller up with a few dumpoffs early on, and let him do what you knew he could do when you drafted him.
He's the kind of player that turns 8-yard gains into 65-yard TDs. He is the Bills' equivalent to Darren Sproles or Reggie Bush.
Spiller's best receiving game came last year on December 18th against the Miami Dolphins. He hauled in nine passes for 76 yards.
Expect him to near his career-high in carries at 19 and see five-to-seven targets.
C.J.'s backups are Tashard Choice and newly-signed Johnny White, neither of whom will have much of a factor in the outcome.
Simply put, this is Spiller's time to shine.
3. Spiller Will Put Up Big Numbers, Win or Lose
The Bills shocked many by beating Kansas City in the season opener last year, 41-7. Fitzpatrick threw for four TDs as the Bills began 2011 looking like a legitimate playoff contender.
But after a 5-2 start, the roof caved in. Mounting injuries as well as Fitz's struggles led Buffalo to a 1-8 finish.
The way they played against the Jets in Week 1 resembled that team.
Consistency is something that's been lacking in Ralph Wilson Stadium for 13 years now, so who knows what squad will show up on Sunday.
This matchup is hard to gauge, because you expected the Bills to be much improved on defense. Mario Williams and Mark Anderson were both non-existent against New York.
Yet win or lose for the Bills, the focus here is the play of C.J. Spiller. The Chiefs aren't scaring anyone on defense.
The return of Pro Bowl linebacker Tamba Hali certainly helps the Chiefs' pass rush, but it doesn't mean they're going to shut Spiller down.
Look for close to 150-175 total yards from No. 28 and at least one TD.
The result of this game at this point is much harder to forecast.
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