2010 NFL Season Preview: Jahvid Best To Have a Better Week One Than CJ Spiller?

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2010

Excitement and anticipation are in the air during this time in the NFL season.  Preseason unimportance is behind us, and the real deal is now set to get underway, as Week 1 has slowly but surely popped it's lovable head around the corner, ready to delight each NFL fan.

When it comes to what football fans watch and look for during each weekends play, expectations have become quite predictable in recent years.  Quarterback play is always a heavily talked about topic, along with possible head coaching difficulties, and the ever so important Super Bowl stardom race.

But from personal experience, I've found the best topic to discuss around the water cooler these days with work colleagues, is rookie play, as no one knows what to expect from the young gun stars at this time in the season.

Following the 2010 NFL Draft back in April, just about every individual became aware of how promising this season may be.  With the likes of Sam Bradford gearing up in St. Louis to take on the hero like role, and of course Dez Bryant stepping into Dallas to give Tony Romo yet another option at the receiver spot, keeping an eye on our former beloved College players is a must in this years NFL season.

However, away from the usual spoken about players, two rookie running backs this season have been thrown into the deep end of starting roles, as Jahvid Best and C.J Spiller are preparing for their opening game debut for the Lions and Bills.

But as exciting yet questionable as this is, which player will come out of Week 1 looking the better man? 

We all know that the two had highly successful College years, yet when it comes to the NFL, either are capable of crumbling or performing at an extremely high standard.

C.J Spiller

The Buffalo Bills only recently announced that C.J Spiller would be starting at the running back spot, ahead of last years starter Marshawn Lynch. 

Unfortunately for the Bills, when this move was first announced over the wire, most people were a little shocked to hear that Spiller would become the starting rusher, similar to when he was drafted by the Bills back in April.

Firstly the concern for the fans came due to the plain fact that the Bills are now one of the worst teams in the entire league.  Therefore perhaps placing the fate of an offense in a rookies hands isn't the smartest thing to do in this situation.

Secondly, given that Buffalo still don't have an overly solid starting quarterback to rely on, it is fair to say that C.J Spiller may not be as explosive as he was in his days with Clemson.

But still, for the most part it seems like head coach Chan Gailey knows what he is doing, although we haven't heard much from the newly appointed head coach.

When Buffalo drafted C.J Spiller they pretty much knew what they were getting, and with all of his talents also came a spark that could reignite a struggling offense, even if talent is hard to come by right now in Buffalo.

Last season saw C.J Spiller rush for 12 touchdowns and 1212 yards.  Impressive stats for a player that now finds himself in the limelight under a totally new structure.

So how will C.J Spiller play in Week 1?

Well when it comes right down to it, C.J Spiller may struggle a little, purely due to who the Bills are facing this week.  Buffalo are set to go head to head against the Miami Dolphins, a team that isn't known for their defense, but can still be just as dominant when confidence is flowing.

It won't be a total tragedy if C.J Spiller doesn't perform to standards, but don't be surprised to see him have a slow start.  There's no motivation at all on offense right now in Buffalo, and that can easily affect the self esteem of a young rookie player.

Jahvid Best

Unlike the Bills, the Detroit Lions are now looking the complete opposite.  Their offense seems stable, they have a decent amount of talent to share, and for the first time in years, there are no head coaching concerns in The Motor City.

Other than this positive momentum, Detroit also have two solid rushers on the team, as Jahvid Best has earned himself the starting role this season due to his impressive offseason performances in team training camps and preseason football.

The thing that separates Jahvid Best from most rookies right now, is that he seems to be very confident.  It is arguable to say that Jahvid Best is very "rookie like" at all, as he is portraying the same characteristics as an experienced pro player, just with a little less involvement in the NFL.

During Best's career with California, he too was a standout like C.J Spiller.  Last season Jahvid Best finished his College career with 867 yards and 12 touchdowns, lower than Spiller, but equally as impressive in the long run.

But what defines Jahvid Best isn't on the stat sheet.  Instead it is his work ethic and dedication to reaching his best, that makes him such a favored starter in Detroit right now.

With all of this mind, it would be unrealistic to expect miracles from Jahvid Best this season.  Detroit are a rebuilding team despite their positive nature these days, and this will stop Jahvid Best at times, especially when bigger opponents come along.

This week Detroit take on Chicago at Soldier Field.  The Lions offense will be tested against a tough Bears defense, so Jahvid Best will have to bring his running shoes for the occasion.  The whole Lions offense is up for the test, but it won't be a cakewalk for any player starting.

So Who Will Have the Better Week One?

It's a tough question to answer seeing as though we haven't seen either man in action for a full four quarters just yet, but a slight edge goes to Jahvid Best for his offseason performance.

As tough as the Chicago Bears will be for the Detroit Lions this week, Jahvid Best has a strong offense to back him up, unlike C.J Spiller in Buffalo right now.   Better yet, Jahvid Best also has a pile of confidence going for him, as he has known that he will be the starter for a lot longer that C.J Spiller has so far this season.

When it comes to the rookie of the year award, Jahvid Best's name is right up there.  That's not to say C.J Spiller isn't, but Best is by far at his best, right now in his pro career.

A winning season starts in the offseason as well, and Jahvid Best may prove that statement in it's entirety sooner rather than later.

With all this said, don't expect Jahvid Best to bring the house down in Chicago this week, but he can still have a solid game without over performing.

We all know that Week 1 doesn't make up a season, so perhaps by the end of it all, C.J Spiller will be the better running back come this time next year.  After Week 1 though, we should have a clear winner, and Jahvid Best has the upper hand in terms of favoritism.

Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also an NFL columnist for Real Sports Net and a Green Bay Packers writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters. Ryan is also a contributing writer for Detroit Lions Talk, Gack Sports and Generation Y Sports.  Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.