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Spiller heads playmaking charge

Posted Nov 12, 2012


Despite having their biggest offensive output all season with 481 total yards, the Bills fell to the New England Patriots Sunday and are still in search of their first division win.

A big part of the Bills’ offense came from running back C.J. Spiller who finished the game with a team-leading 131 total yards from scrimmage, including nine carries for 70 yards and four catches for 61 yards.

On Buffalo’s first touchdown drive, Spiller covered 26 yards on the ground on just three carries before running back Fred Jackson found the end zone on a 14-yard carry off the left guard.

Spiller said it was no surprise to him that the offense would play effectively against the Patriots.

“We knew that, every time we’ve played these guys, we’ve been successful moving the ball against them,” Spiller said. “That’s a great defense that we went up against and I’m proud of our guys, but at the same time, I’m very disappointed because we’re 3-6 and its pretty much a must win from here on out.”

Spiller had the longest play from scrimmage on the day for the Bills when he took a 1st-and-10 reception from Ryan Fitzpatrick down the left sideline for 25 yards to set up 1st-and-10 at the New England 13. Unfortunately Fred Jackson fumbled at the one-yard line ending the drive.

With 9:16 left in the game and the ball on the New England 45, Spiller took a carry 14 yards off the right tackle out of bounds. Referees tacked on 15 more yards to the play after Patriots’ linebacker Jerod Mayo was called for Unnecessary Roughness by tackling Spiller out of bounds.

The next play Spiller received the hand off again and this time took off left for an 11-yard gain. Three plays later quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick found wide receiver Donald Jones for a two-yard touchdown over the middle to cut the Patriots lead to three.

Spiller praised his teammates for their blocking and the running lanes they produced.

“The offensive line did a great job,” Spiller said. “Early on, it seemed like they were trying to force me to bounce it to the outside, but I just tried to be patient and take what they gave me.  But the credit goes to the guys up front who were blocking and the receivers who were blocking.”

Spiller along with offensive backfield mate Jackson accounted for 246 of Buffalo's 481 total net yards, with Jackson also netting a pair of touchdown runs. The two had 33 combined touches in the game.

“That’s what we want to do," said Ryan Fitzpatrick. "Obviously we talk about it every week. We got away from it with Houston and what they did to us, but today I thought we came in with a great plan. We had ways to get them the ball no matter what was going on defensively. Even the screens and getting the ball in those guys’ hands in space they’re special. We got to see that today like we see it every week.”

On the final drive of the game, Spiller took a short pass to the left from Fitzpatrick on first down for 14 yards to the New England 15 where he ran out of bounds. Two plays later Patriots’ cornerback Devin McCourty intercepted Fitzpatrick’s pass intended for wide receiver T.J. Graham to seal the Patriots’ victory.

Spiller admitted the team had no doubt they were going to score on the final drive.

“There was a lot of confidence,” Spiller said. “You could see it when Donald (Jones) got his touchdown, the guys on the sideline were very confident we could go down and win it, but they just made that play at the end to win it for them.”

Patriots’ defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said going up against Buffalo’s explosive offense is a challenge, no matter their record.

“We’re not surprised, trust me,” Wilfork said. “We knew coming into this game that (C.J.) Spiller averages seven or eight yards a carry and that hasn’t been done in who knows how long, but that’s a big stat, and they showed tonight that they have very explosive backs and (guys at) skill positions. I think they have one of the better offensive lines and they’re coached very well. They gave us a handful, so we knew it was going to be a tough game. Playing against the Buffalo Bills is always tough.”