I’ll keep this brief-ish, because I’ve invited the C.J. Spiller rant into my pores on a near weekly basis. I’m not sure that I can sustain the punishment much longer. If you don’t hear from me again for a while after this post, tell my family I love them.
Yesterday during the Bills’ loss to the Patriots that was far closer than many anticipated — which caused at least one 100 Yards and Running contributor to vandalize parts of an office — the best player on Buffalo’s offense once again received fewer carries and fewer touches overall than his counterpart at his position. The player I’m referring to is, of course, Spiller, and the mooch who continues to steal the workload that should be his is Fred Jackson.
We approach most things around here from a fantasy perspective, because that’s sort of what we do, or so I’ve been told. Spiller getting the ball at a far greater frequency would obviously be beneficial for fantasy owners. Remember those good times when Jackson was hurt earlier this year and Spiller had 364 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns over just two games? Ahhh, memories. But for Bills fans and their constant agony, Spiller getting the ball far more often would be fun too, because I doubt many fans are going to complain when the best player on the offense receives more opportunities to do really great things.
That’s a fundamental, simple principle, and if Chan Gailey ever opens his eyes to let in the light he’d realize that his running back split is backwards. No one has ever said that Jackson should be eliminated, because if there are people who say that they’re incredibly stupid people. He has value and still makes a significant contribution, as he’s also a quality pass catcher out of the backfield, and he’s arguably better than Spiller when asked to pound it between the tackles.
Instead, the common refrain is that the time share should easily favor Spiller, not Jackson, and it should end in Spiller receiving somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 carries a game consistently. Toss in a few receptions, and then he’ll hover around 20 touches, instead of the 13 he had yesterday, and the 11 he had last week.
The discouragement in the current configuration of the backfield workload between Spiller and Jackson is fueled by Spiller’s high productivity even with his limited touches. Yesterday with those 13 touches he finished with 131 yards for an average of 10 yards per touch. Meanwhile, Jackson received seven more touches and 16 carries to Spiller’s nine for 115 yards at a pace of 5.8 per touch. Again as I wrote yesterday, that’s still a fine day, but Spiller is easily the more explosive running back while moving along at a pace that nearly doubles Jackson’s on a per touch basis.
So how exactly did this split happen despite Spiller’s far greater productivity, and how does it continue to happen? Well, it’s pretty simple really, but that doesn’t make it any less mind numbing. An player who’s averaging a first down every time he touches the ball was on the sideline for over half of Buffalo’s offensive snaps.
Stat of the day: #Bills RB C.J. Spiller was on the field for 34 snaps yesterday. He was on the sideline for 40.
— Brian Galliford (@BrianGalliford) November 12, 2012
I wish no ill will on any man or beast, but there’s one benefit to the concussion Jackson sustained late in yesterday’s game that could keep him out for a week, with his chances of playing in Week 11 significantly decreased due to the quick turnaround when the Bills face the Dolphins Thursday night.
Spiller will get the touches he deserves, you’ll get the fantasy production from him that you deserve, and Bills fans will get the win they deserve.
And now the links part of the links post…
- As is our Monday ritual, we’ll surely have lots of injury posts today, because they’re fun if you enjoy self mutilation. For now, here’s a roundup of the Sunday carnage. [Rotoworld]
- Throwing the football against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is still a good idea. [Roto Arcade]
- Sometimes, simple observations are the best observations, because they encourage common sense and rational thought. So yes, Nick Foles looked like, well, a rookie quarterback making his regular-season debut yesterday. [Tim McManus]
- Arian Foster is a “bad ass” according to Brian Urlacher. Yes Brian, we know. [CSN Chicago]
- For our two female readers, here’s Eric Frampton’s ass. Enjoy? [Busted Coverage]