Upon Further Review: Bills Week 2

September, 16, 2013
9/16/13
2:15
PM ET
A review of four hot issues from the Buffalo Bills' 24-23 win over the Carolina Panthers:

[+] EnlargeC.J. Spiller
Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY SportsWill there be a heavier workload for the Bills' C.J. Spiller this Sunday after his solid effort against the Panthers?
Flip-flop in backfield: Following the regular-season opener, when C.J. Spiller was ineffective and the Bills turned more to Fred Jackson as the game progressed, the vibe from the duo of rushers was this: There will be weeks when the Bills will need to lean on one more than the other. Those words rang true Sunday, when it was Spiller, not Jackson, who was the more effective back. Other than his 4-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, Jackson was unable to get much going. In both games, though, Spiller and Jackson split snaps about 60-40. With Spiller gaining some momentum Sunday, it will be worth monitoring whether it gets closer to 70-30 Sunday against the Jets.

Jackson's veteran play: Despite his relative struggles as a ball carrier in the game, Jackson made a heads-up play as a receiver on the final drive. On Monday, he echoed what he tweeted on Sunday night: That he intentionally dropped a pass with 40 seconds left. "It’s something that I’m just constantly aware of. Any time you go into a 2-minute drill, I’m thinking of every possible way to save time for us," Jackson said. "I catch the ball and it’s a 1-yard gain or a loss. We run 10 seconds off the clock trying to get everything set up. It just wasn’t worth the catch to get a 1-yard gain and run 10 seconds off the clock."

Another slow start: In each of their first two games, the Bills have been held scoreless in the first quarter. In Week 1, Buffalo's first drive ended on the second play (a Spiller fumble) and the Bills were unable to reach midfield until early in the second quarter. On Sunday, the Bills reached Panthers territory on their first play (a 34-yard completion to Frank Summers), but stalled out and then missed a field goal. They didn't get past midfield again until the second quarter. Center Eric Wood and receiver Robert Woods both spoke Monday about getting off to faster starts.

Pass protection the difference? When the Bills lost their opener to the Patriots, one statistical discrepancy stood out: four penalties against New England, 10 against Buffalo. On Sunday, another glaring spread on the stat sheet tells a story: six sacks for Buffalo, one sack for Carolina. It's worth noting that the Panthers' only sack of EJ Manuel forced a turnover (none of the Bills' takedowns did), but overall, there was a noticeable difference in pressure against Manuel compared to Cam Newton. After two games, the Bills have allowed just one sack -- tied for second in the NFL behind the Rams, who haven't allowed any sacks.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


Roster Advisor