Bills RB C.J. Spiller carried nine times for 7 yards in Detroit. His longest run was 2. He has carried 61 times this season — 34 for 2 yards or less. Spiller is averaging 3.5 yards a rush, the lowest of his career. Take away a 47-yard run against Miami and it’s 2.8 yards a carry.
In his fifth NFL season, Spiller still has a tendency to break runs outside, rather than pound them inside for small, respectable gains. He has nine negative runs this year.
To an extent, coaches will tolerate negligible rushes, knowing a speedy back can break a long one at any time. But Spiller hasn’t been producing many big runs. He hasn’t run for a touchdown since the Atlanta game last season and has one TD run in his last 15 games.
So how long do they keep pounding their head against a wall? Jackson is a better inside runner, a more reliable receiver and far better pass protector than Spiller. He’s the oldest runner in the NFL, and they don’t want to wear him out, but Jackson deserves to be the primary ball carrier.
Jackson has been the more productive back this season and has also been more successful in the passing game, something we kind of assume is Spiller's forte. The author added that he's not sure how long Spiller will be with the Bills. It’s the final year of his contract. If the Bills intended to sign him to a lucrative extension, they would have done it by now, the story went on to say, and that they won’t break the bank for a guy who gains 2 yards or less on more than half his runs. He also pointed out that running backs seem easy to come by in the NFL these days. The Bills also have Bryce Brown as their third back. It seems like Spiller is becoming a more risky fantasy option by the week.