ORCHARD PARK - If C.J. Spiller keeps running the ball the way he has the first two weeks of the season, Fred Jackson may have to start worrying about his starting job when he comes back from the knee sprain he suffered in the Buffalo Bills' season-opening loss to the New York Jets.
Spiller, who continues to prove any doubters wrong, rushed for 123 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns Sunday, helping the Bills win their home opener over the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-17.
"I just had great weeks of preparation," Spiller said after the game. "Our offense did a great job of covering these guys up. We knew coming into this game we had to be very decisive running.
Buffalo Bills’ C.J. Spiller (28) scores a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of an NFL game in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday. The Bills won, 35-17.
"It all starts with preparation," Spiller continued. "I do the same thing every week - I read hard and run hard at practice. It really is just translating it on Sundays."
No one will argue that Spiller's preparation isn't translating on Sundays. Over the first two weeks, Spiller has rushed for 292 yards on 29 carries, for an average of 10.1 yards every time he touches the ball. It's starting to become very clear that the Bills got the player they thought they were getting when they drafted him with the ninth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
"I knew he could be," Bills' head coach Chan Gailey said on whether or not he thought Spiller would become a dynamic running back. "I did not know whether it would happen or not. I would like to tell you 'oh sure I saw that,' but it would be a lie. I did not see it happening like this. I knew it was capable of happening, but I did not know it would."
A humble guy, Spiller was not willing to take all the credit for the success he's had thus far this season.
"We've got great character on this team," Spiller said. "So, it's not a one-man show. It's going to take all 53 guys to get where we're trying to go."
If the Bills are going to be as successful as everyone in Western New York hopes they will, Spiller is going to have to be a big part of what the Bills' offense is trying to do on Sundays. And Bills' quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick noted there was one thing that Spiller has had in his favor since he began filling in for an injured Jackson dating back to last season.
"C.J. has shown - and something he has done a good job of over the last eight, nine games - is his vision has been very good in terms of making cuts," Fitzpatrick said. "Seeing a hole, just trusting himself and going. He has learned a lot of things, I think, from sitting back and watching Fred (Jackson) and the way he runs. When C.J. gets in the open field he is hard to bring down."
Spiller will have to be hard to bring down next week as well when the Bills travel to take on the 0-2 Cleveland Browns. Despite it's 34-27 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Browns allowed just 80 yards on the ground on 25 attempts by the Bengals. That is a far cry from the 150 they allowed to the Philadelphia Eagles on opening day when they lost 17-16.
"I just have to make sure I'm prepared for whatever they throw at me," Spiller said of opposing teams' defenses. "I can say that my offensive line takes the challenge every single day and they go out there on Sundays and cover (the other defense) up and I just try to make my reads and be decisive."