It’s become pretty clear that Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller is the team’s most dynamic offensive weapon. His big-play ability and explosiveness with the ball in his hands is undeniable, which is exactly why the team needs to feed him the ball more to have any chance against the first-place Pats in Week 10.
In what might be a surprising statistic to some folks, Spiller actually leads the NFL in yards per carry with a 7.2 average.
He’s 29th in the league in rushing attempts with 78. Even Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has more rushing attempts (81) than Spiller, even though his running back, Alfred Morris, is fourth in the league with 164 attempts.
Obviously, there’s a bit of a problem here. For Spiller to be so dangerous yet so underused is a crime. That simply has to change.
After a disappointing loss to the Tennessee Titans before the bye week, head coach Chan Gailey insisted he wanted to get Fred Jackson and Spiller between 30 and 40 touches per game, according to Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News. Unfortunately, he failed to deliver on that promise against the Texans. Spiller had six carries and five catches, which is identical to Jackson’s stat line.
That’s 22 combined touches and an even worse 12 combined carries for these two quality ball-carriers. The Twitter account NFL: Around the League summed it up with this tweet:
“Ignored” is a nice way to put it, and I’m sure Bills fans had plenty of other adjectives and opinions of their own in light of last week’s loss to Houston.
The Bills’ success relies on a strong running game, and that will certainly ring true against the Patriots in Foxboro. With the way Buffalo’s defense has been playing, it’s safe to bet that it doesn’t want to engage in a shootout with Tom Brady and Co.
Instead, Buffalo will look to pound the rock, control the time of possession and set the tempo on offense. And the best way to do that is through Spiller’s explosive talents.
Spiller is second only to Adrian Peterson in runs of 20-plus yards this season with seven (AP has 11). What’s scary is that Peterson has 90 more carries than Spiller.
Imagine what Spiller could be doing with a more consistent role?
Let's hope fans won’t have to imagine anymore. After all, if the Bills want to have any chance of turning their season around, it starts with giving "Spiller the Thriller" more opportunities every week.
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