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Spiller still putting up big numbers

Posted Dec 24, 2012

As the Bills struggle to post victories, running back C.J. Spiller continues to slice through NFL defenses and excite Bills fans. Spiller had his second consecutive game rushing for over 100 yards with 138 yards on 22 carries. The game marked his fifth contest rushing for over 100 yards this season and put him at 1,572 yards from scrimmage this year, a feat last accomplished by the Bills’ Travis Henry in 2003.

Spiller also had four catches for 35 yards, giving him 173 yards from scrimmage in the game. That stat marked his 10th game this season he’s had 100 or more scrimmage yards, making him the third Bill to ever accomplish the feat. Only Thurman Thomas (1990, 1991) and OJ Simpson (1973, 1975) have achieved the same feat.

Spiller said the milestone was bittersweet Sunday.

“Anytime you’re mentioned with greats like that it’s definitely breathtaking, definitely humbling,” Spiller said. “Everybody knows that me and Thurman are really close, so it definitely feels good to be in there, but it seems like every time I reach a milestone it always comes in a disappointment.”

The former Clemson Tiger broke a 62-yard run Sunday that set up the Bills’ first points of the game. The run marked Spiller’s career long, breaking his previous mark of 56 in Week 1 against the New York Jets.

Spiller admitted the run should’ve gone for six points.

“My guys work their tail off to spring me free,” Spiller said. “They expect me to score and I didn’t deliver on that one.”

After being handed the ball on a draw play on 2nd and 6 from the Buffalo 15, Spiller cut back to the right side of the field, found a seem, stiff armed Miami safety Chris Clemons and took off with open field in front of him around the Buffalo 30. Miami defensive end Oliver Vernon tripped Spiller up just enough at the Miami 45 so that cornerback Sean Smith could bring him down at the Miami 23.

Spiller said he expected more from himself on that run.

“I was looking at the Jumbotron the whole time, so I definitely saw the guy come late,” Spiller said. “The guy tripped me up and as soon as I got ready to accelerate that’s when it happened. I can’t let that happen. My guys expect me to score and I expect myself to score.”

Spiller also noted that the Bills didn’t use the screen game to move the ball as much on Sunday because of how well the run game was working.

“Without a doubt,” Spiller said. “We went back and looked at the previous game when we played these guys and we saw that we left a lot of yards out there. Coming into this game my mindset was don’t leave anything. Hopefully I didn’t. I’ll have to look at the film and see. We knew we could run the ball. I’ve got all the faith in my guys up front that we can get it done.”

One of those guys up front, guard Kriag Urbik, noted how good Spiller makes the offensive line look at times.

“It’s all C.J.,” said Urbik on Spiller’s production this year. “He’s a special kind of player, he does a lot of stuff on his own.  We’re proud of the stuff that he’s done, but we’re not going to take any credit for that.”

Spiller is the first Bill to run for more than 1,150 yards since Willis McGahee did in 2005.

Urbik admitted he thinks Spiller could run for enormous amounts of yardage every game if he gets some room his offensive line.

“He can make a play any time he touches the ball,” Urbik said. “You see that big run he had, he was just all bottled up and he just squeezed out of there and made a long run.  Unfortunately, for a lot of the time, we couldn’t open up holes for him to get going.  But he still had quite a few yards on the ground.”