BY DAN BEGNOCHE
The Buffalo Bills finally have their star running back tandem back in action, and it's abundantly clear that two is better than one.
On Sunday, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller came the closest yet to equally splitting time en route to their victory in Arizona, a plan the backs had a hand in. Since Jackson's return, the two have worked out a two-series system with coaches, one that allows both backs to get a fair amount of playing time and also get into a groove and make something happen.
“The first game that Fred came back, we tried to do a one-series rotation,” Spiller told reporters Monday. “Fred and I both thought that was tough. The good thing about our coaching staff and our running backs coach is he leaves that up to us. I went to Fred and I told him ‘let’s do two series.’ It is kind of hard when you are out there for one series, you get into a flow and you come out. We thought it would be best if we did two series so that is what we have done these last two games. We will continue to do that.”
Both ran well against the Cardinals, each tallying a touchdown in the 19-16 win. More importantly, both are aware of how much each one can feed off the other. After Spiller broke out for 33-yard gain late in the third quarter, he came out of the game in lieu of Jackson. And after a Wildcat scramble by Brad Smith, there was Jackson to punch in the 1-yard score.
“They both bring something very unique,” coach Chan Gailey told reporters Monday. “They are both very good players. I like to say, and I am going to keep saying this, we have two starters there. We have two good players and we have to play them both to give us the best chance to win.”
The only problem now may land on the other side of the field, as opposing defenses try to prepare for the elite one-two punch. The Titans may be in for a long day this Sunday against the duo, as they are already giving up nearly 130 yards per game on average on the ground. Looking ahead, however, the Bills will need the pair to be at their absolute best, as Buffalo's three opponents after their bye week -- the Texans, Patriots and Dolphins -- are holding rushers to a combined average of 83 rushing yards per game.
“It is all about just keeping an eye on each other,” Spiller said. “We know that there is only one football. You are not going to get as many (touches) as you want. Would you want to? Yeah. But at the end of the day, you are not because there is only one and we have a lot of playmakers on this team. It is a good thing to have. I am glad that we have that problem.”
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