No one was going to get in C.J. Spiller's way.
Finally, a big day from C.J. Spiller.
It took an injury to Fred Jackson for it to happen, but Chan Gailey finally got the ball in Spiller's hands a significant number of times.
There's doubt as to whether Ryan Fitzpatrick is the answer at quarterback in the long-term picture. There's no doubt, though, that Spiller is the best player on the offense now, and should be a building block for the team.
With Fred Jackson out with a concussion, Spiller had to carry a much larger load than he's used to. His season average of 12.8 touches per game was nearly doubled (25) Thursday night, and he finished with 22 carries for 91 yards and three receptions for 39 yards.
How did he feel about the increased workload?
"I answered the critics tonight," Spiller told the NFL Network crew after the game. "I told them I could tote it 20-plus times, it don't matter to me."
Odd. The only critics I heard were of Chan Gailey for not using Spiller enough.
Instead, he has gone to his inconsistent quarterback, asking him to throw 32 or more times in seven out of 10 games this season.
Mind-numbing stuff, really.
"When somebody questions you as a man, I take that to heart," Spiller said. "People are saying that I'm too small, and I couldn't do it, and I wanted to show them that I can do it."
And to think, Spiller might have had an even bigger night if Gailey hadn't taken Spiller out in key situations. An early 3rd-and-1 comes to mind, when Gailey called for a direct snap to backup running back Tashard Choice and ultimately resulted in the Bills going three-and-out on their first drive.
Are we all enjoying Tashard Choice's coming out party?— Sal Maiorana (@salmaiorana) November 16, 2012
The Bills also had a 1st-and-goal from the four-yard line, and threw the ball three times before settling for a field goal. The way he played on Thursday night, it's not a stretch to say Spiller could have gained those yards.
If Buffalo is ever going to achieve its maximum offensive potential, the coaching staff has to realize that Spiller can change games on a dime with his ability to create explosive plays.
I wonder what Chan Gailey's reason will be when Spiller's touches go back to unlucky 13 when Fred Jackson returns. Whatever it is, it's probably dumb.
Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained via team press releases.