How C.J. Spiller Can Save the Buffalo Bills' Season
Third-year running back C.J. Spiller was absolutely electric, carrying the ball 15 times for 123 yards with two rushing touchdowns along with three catches for 47 more yards.
He was the catalyst in the Bills' 35-17 drubbing of KC, an early-season must-win for a team that was utterly humiliated by the New York Jets in Week 1.
Now, Spiller clearly produced at an ultra-efficient rate, but a masterful gameplan set forth by head coach Chan Gailey was the catalyst in the running back's big day and the bounce-back win.
The Bills runner was the unquestioned focal point of the offense from the get go, receiving touches from a variety of different formations and play calls.
Because of that, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn't put in precarious situations or asked to make a host of difficult reads or throws down the field into coverage.
In fact, Spiller touched the ball on 17 of the Bills' first 40 offensive snaps (not counting punts and a kneel down) en route to Buffalo taking a 28-3 lead in the third quarter.
That's exactly how Spiller has to be utilized in order to, at the very least, have the opportunity to "save" Buffalo's season which appeared to be doomed after the 48-28 season-opening loss in which David Nelson was lost for the year to a torn ACL, and Jackson was lost for a handful of weeks to a sprained LCL.
What's perfect about an increased workload for Spiller, and why can he continue to flourish?
The offensive system in place.
Gailey's spread attack is an exquisite match for Spiller, a guy who is tremendous in exactly what the spread attack yields—space.
During his time in college, he ran between the tackles more than people think, so he isn't solely a gadget guy who can contribute on outside runs and pitches. Therefore, Spiller can take those familiar draws up the middle from the shotgun formation with the defense really spread out and do major damage in the open field.
Remember, last year, Spiller averaged 5.4 yards per carry, and Buffalo averaged a whopping 4.9 yards per rush as team.
Right now, Spiller averages a 10.06 yards per carry. Yeah, I know, it's early.
The exact prognosis of Jackson's injury is still unknown, but with Spiller emerging as the bona fide playmaker the Bills thought they were drafting in 2010 within the spread offense, Buffalo's season might not have been lost when Jackson went down.
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