Friday, September 6, 2013

Patriots know covering Spiller will take 11 guys


C.J. Spiller rushed for 70 yards on just nine carries in the Buffalo Bills' last meeting with the New England Patriots. The electric tailback also gained 61 yards on four receptions.

The Patriots know they can't afford to give up that much production to one player Sunday, especially considering Spiller is poised for twice that many touches.

"You know what it's tough and it's going to take 11 guys to the football. C.J. Spiller, a guy last year who averages 6 yards per carry, that's unheard of," Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo told "It's just obscene. If he gets past [our] potent front seven, those guys in the back end will have to cone him in."

Spiller is easily the Bills' best offensive player. He was underutilized the last two seasons but will be given a much larger workload under a new coaching staff.

With a rookie quarterback in E.J. Manuel at the helm, getting Spiller going early and often will be crucial if the Bills want to keep up with New England. The Patriots also haven't forgotten about Fred Jackson, who rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns the last time he faced New England.

"Spiller is extremely difficult player to play against. He has a great combination of quickness and speed and vision and the ability to play out in space or run the ball," Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said earlier this week. "Certainly, Fred Jackson is someone that we have familiarity with as far as his explosive play ability and his ability to change a game.

"Obviously those are two great players that we have to do a phenomenal job against in this game to try to stop."

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