Why Are The Buffalo Bills Underutilizing CJ Spiller?

 @ryan_rosengrant
on November 08 2012 10:12 AM
Why Are The Buffalo Bills Underutilizing CJ Spiller?

The Buffalo Bills sit at 3-5, in last place in the AFC East despite having one of the best running backs in the entire NFL in CJ Spiller. His individual numbers have been among the leagues best, the only problem, he's not getting the ball nearly enough. 

Halfway through the season Spiller has 78 carries for 562 yards which ranks him as the in 15th place in the rushing yards category. His 7.2 yards/carry average is tops amongst all NFL running backs and the next closest is Adrian Peterson who comes in at 5.7, a whole yard and-a-half less than Spiller. 

In a normal situation you would think the issue is the team isn't very good, and the reason his carries are so low is that the team is struggling. This just isn't the case in Buffalo, they have been in pretty much every game this season in the first half except the drubbing the Bills took at the Jets week one where they were down 27-7 at the half, and lost 48-28 and at San Francisco when they were down 17-3 at the half and lost 45-3. In the Jets game Spiller actually played really well with 14 carries for 169 yards and a touchdown, the same couldn't be said for the San Francisco game where he only tallied seven carries for 29 yards. 

The Bills offense is actually very good in the overall rushing department with 1130 yards which is seventh in the NFL, the problem has been the passing game which ranks 28th overall at 1621 yards. 

The issue within why Spiller isn't getting the touches he needs all are on the other side of the ball for the Bills. The defense is second to last in the NFL allowing 417.9 yards/game. The defense also ranks 28th in first downs allowed, 27th in overall yards allowed and tied for 30th in overall points allowed. However; the most telling stat of this defense is they are dead last in the NFL allowing 46.1 percent of third down conversions against them. That's almost half, this will be a thorn in the side of any offensive player who plays for the Buffalo Bills. 

The Buffalo Bills have an extremely talented running back in the name of CJ Spiller, the problem is they have a defense which is making it impossible for him to get onto the field because they don't have the capability to get off of it. As long as this is the scenario in Buffalo don't expect Spiller, or any offensive player for that matter, to be able to brake out and prove their worth. 

 

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