When Buffalo Bills star running back Fred Jackson broke his leg in Buffalo’s week 11 game against Miami in 2011, media and fans had no idea what the team had in backup running back C.J. Spiller. However, he went on to show flashes of greatness by running for 446 yards on 86 carries, which equals to just about 5.2 yards per carry.
It was a performance that made people in Buffalo feel comfortable about who was carrying the football.
Spiller has not only filled in the shoes left by Jackson, but he’s doing it at a record-breaking pace.
After rushing for 169 yards on 14 carries in week one against New York, Spiller continued his trail blazing ways, running the ball 15 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns in Buffalo’s 35-17 win over Kansas City in week two.
With 292 yards on 29 carries this season, Spiller is averaging 10.1 yards per carry through two games. It’s the first time a player has accomplished such a feat since Hall of Famer Jim Brown did it for Cleveland in 1963. He has even added 5 receptions for 72 yards just for good measure.
He will quickly pass credit to his blockers, but Spiller needs to take credit when credit (how many times can I use the word credit in this sentence?) is due. Spiller has shown the patience and vision over his last eight games that he didn’t even hint at during his first year and a half with the Bills.
“Early in his career when he was touching the ball six or seven times a game, he was putting a lot of pressure on himself to make a home run,” Bills center Eric Wood told Sun Media NFL Columnist John Kryk. “When you’re doing that, you’re trying to really press.”
Even his own head coach had didn’t see Spiller’s performances coming.
“I would like to tell you, ‘Oh sure, I saw that,’ but it would be a lie,” Gailey told the media after Sunday’s game. “I did not see it happening like this.”
Spiller is fast becoming Buffalo’s most dominant offensive weapon, and is making a strong case to be the starter for the Bills even after Jackson returns later this season.