Thursday, December 13, 2012
C.J. Spiller closing in on 1,000 yards
By James Walker
Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller needs just 56 rushing yards Sunday to record his first 1,000-yard season. This is very impressive considering Spiller only has 144 carries.
Spiller has been the subject of intense debate in Buffalo. Spiller is one of the NFL's most dynamic and dangerous offensive players, and he leads all running backs with 6.6 yards per carry. However, Bills head coach Chan Gailey rarely gets Spiller enough touches. It’s one of the reasons Buffalo has underachieved this season and is 5-8.
Consider these numbers:
- Spiller averages just 11.1 carries per game. He’s had six games of eight carries or fewer this season, including just seven rushes in last week’s 15-12 loss to the St. Louis Rams.
- Despite limited opportunities, Spiller leads the AFC with 11 rushes of 20 yards or more. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Spiller leads the NFL with 4.2 yards per rush before contact.
- Forty of Spiller's 144 rushes (28 percent) have resulted in first downs.
- The Bills are 2-0 this season when Spiller gets 15 carries or more. It’s a simple and successful formula that Gailey has inexplicably ignored all season.
It's scary to think how many yards Spiller would have if he had more touches. He's currently on pace for 1,162 rushing yards this season with limited carries.
With veteran running back Fred Jackson (knee) placed on injured reserve this week, Spiller will get a larger workload in these final three games. But it’s too late with Buffalo now out of playoff contention.