Buffalo Bills: What Does CJ Spiller's Dominance Mean for Fred Jackson, Team?
C.J. Spiller delivered again Sunday, following his league-leading 169 yards on opening day against the New York Jets with 123 yards and two touchdowns that put the Buffalo Bills on top for good Sunday over the anemic Kansas City Chiefs.
The question now is: What does Spiller's early-season dominance mean to the Bills, and more importantly to Fred Jackson?
Spiller already beat Jackson and Marshawn Lynch out for the starting job once when he came to the Bills with the No. 9 overall pick in 2010.
But his position as top dog lasted all of one game.
But now Spiller looks ready to take command. He has 292 yards and three touchdowns in two games, including a long run of 56 yards.
Spiller ran roughshod over the Chiefs defense, which was solid if not spectacular against the run in 2011 (giving up 84 yards per game), but has been less impressive this season.
Spiller, a Clemson standout, has always had the speed and quickness to be a top NFL back, but in Buffalo—just like in college—he has always been one of many backs in a crowded backfield.
Fred Jackson has put together three solid seasons for the Bills, averaging just shy of 1,000 yards per season the last three years.
But Jackson is 31, approaching "old" by NFL running-back standards, and Spiller's performance in these first two games puts Bills coach Chan Gailey in a bit of a predicament.
Sit the young up-and-comer, or bench the veteran back who has consistently delivered a workmanlike, if not spectacular, performance?
Spiller has yet to touch the ball 20 times a game, so his ability to carry a team throughout a whole game is unproven.
Perhaps Gailey's best strategy is to ease Jackson back into the lineup and limit Spiller's carries to 15 to 20 a game, forging a deadly duo of power and speed.
The future is Spiller's. It's up to Gailey to decide when the future begins.
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