Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bills' 'backup' tailback carries offense in win over Jax


Things are a whole lot easier when the Buffalo Bills have enough carries to spare between their two No. 1-caliber running backs.

A stout defensive showing and ground-and-pound-friendly weather Sunday eliminated any urgency with the Bills' offense, and 186 rushing yards between Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller was the result in a 34-18 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“We expected to be able to feed Fred the rock, to give it to C.J., have those guys coming in and they’re a tough one-two punch," Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said, according to "Everybody knows, but as we saw today especially, and the defense really stepped up and played great.”

Bills coach Chan Gailey said during the week that Spiller would get the bulk of the carries even if both tailbacks were equally healthy. But Jackson rushed 25 times for 109 yards, while Spiller carried the ball 14 times for 77 yards. Most of Spiller's mileage came on a 44-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth quarter.

According to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News, Bills coach Chan Gailey said the wet weather suited Jackson's downhill running style better than Spiller's.

Fitzpatrick, who has a track record of struggling when the game is put on his shoulders, attempted just 17 passes, completing nine of them for 117 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for a score.

That's a formula the Bills can succeed with, though they can't always depend on facing a team as lowly as the 2-10 Jaguars. The next time Buffalo is forced to throw more and limit its amount of rushes, calls for Spiller to get more touches will again be plentiful.

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