Before the game, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick knew how CJ Spiller could change a game.
"I think he's very dangerous, he said. " You can see that anytime he has the ball".
Spiller proved Belichick knew what he was talking about, scoring the first two touchdowns of his NFL career in the Bills 38-30 loss in Foxborough. The Bills showed vast improvement thanks in part to the rookie's efforts in the return game as well as on offense.
His first touchdown came on a five-yard pass to the flat from new starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the second quarter. Spiller realized how his teammates helped him get the score, giving credit to veteran receiver Lee Evans.
"I saw how the one D-B jumped inside and Lee did a great job of covering up the other D-B," said Spiller. "Going into the game we knew that we were going to have to make somebody miss. The defensive back made my job easy by jumping inside."
His second touchdown came on an exciting 95-yard kickoff return that brought the Bills back in contention in the third quarter when they were trailing 24-16.
"It felt great to get it. We had seen all week how they were going to play us and my job is to just read my keys and use my speed and I knew I was going to have to make somebody miss and most likely would have to beat the kicker. My guys did a great job of covering them up and they did exactly what we saw on film."
Spiller's trip to the end zone was the first Bills return for a touchdown in a road game since Terrence McGee's 99-yard return at Cincinnati on December 24th, 2005.
Chan Gailey knew the significance of the return and how it gave the Bills a big spark.
"It was huge, especially at that time of the game," Gailey said. "Momentum had switched to them coming out in the second half and for him to go down there and stick it in there; there's ten other guys out there blocking too- you got to give them some credit too. You don't return a kickoff by one guy doing his job. A lot of guys did their job and it was a big part of the game obviously."
Spiller added four other kickoff returns, for a game total of 189 yards with an impressive 37.8 yards per return average.
With his double touchdown effort Spiller became just the second Bills player in team history to score a kick return touchdown and a receiving touchdown in the same game. Charley Warner was the first to do so on Dec. 19, 1965 against the New York Jets.
The Bills top rookie also contributed to the run game with four carries for 29 yards, averaging 7.3 yards per carry, with a long run of 19 yards that put the Bills in scoring position.
"He had a big run where he took the cutback all the way to the backside and got it down to the four-yard line when we scored there" said Gailey.
Although he was disappointed with the loss, he was happy with how he played and how he has progressed.
"It's going to be a long season and this gave me confidence going into the next game against another great opponent that we got," Spiller said. "As an individual you want to get better but you also want to get those around you better. Anytime I can do that and get us in a position to win, that's what I'm going to do."
Spiller realizes his on field exploits are going to make him a focal point of opposing defenses, and a pretty good defensive side comes to Ralph Wilson Stadium this weekend in the New York Jets. But the multi-faceted back knows the attention he draws will give his other offensive teammates opportunities to make plays of their own.
"That's the goal," he said. "If I can be a decoy and I'm pretty sure the team's is going to try to have certain packages for when I enter the game, if I can help open other guys up, that would be a great opportunity. Anytime we can keep our defense off the field and we can stay on the field moving, that's the only thing that really matters."