Saturday, March 8, 2014
The Associated Press
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller isn’t about to second-guess the offensive game plan or start lobbying for more carries.
“That’s not my job description,” Spiller said on Monday. “I don’t have to sit around and mope and be mad and try to go upstairs and talk to the coaches.”
Turns out, the NFL’s leader in yards per carry doesn’t need to stir the pot because others were doing that for him a day after the Bills inconsistent offense lacked finish – and much of a ground game – in a 21-9 loss to Houston.
Coach Chan Gailey, an offensive-minded specialist, found himself on the defensive answering questions of whether he abandoned the run too early against the Texans.
“I wish we could’ve run it more the other day, but it was one of those situations where we thought it best to throw the football,” Gailey said. “And it didn’t work.”
He’s right about that.
The Bills attempted just 16 rushes – and only five in the second half – while Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 25 of 38 for 239 yards, while being held without a touchdown for the third time in four games.
Buffalo settled for attempting four fields goals (one missed, three made) on four trips inside the Texans 22.
Having lost four of five, the Bills (3-5) hit their midseason mark suddenly in jeopardy of falling completely out of the playoff picture. They face the daunting task of traveling to play at AFC East rival New England (5-3) this weekend.
The Patriots have already beaten Buffalo 52-28, and the Bills have lost 11 straight games at New England.
Gailey explained that the Bills stuck with the pass because of how the Texans lined up on defense in a bid to stop the run.
And yet, Spiller and co-starter Fred Jackson still combined for 60 yards rushing on 12 carries. Spiller also added five catches for 63 yards despite being on the field for only 26 of Buffalo’s 57 plays on offense.
The 16 rushing attempts (including three by Fitzpatrick and one by Brad Smith) matched the fewest during Gailey’s two-plus season term in Buffalo.
And they were made by an offense that’s statistically been among the NFL’s best this season at getting its running backs involved.
Spiller leads the NFL in averaging 7.2 yards a carry and, with 24 catches for 236 yards, he leads running backs in averaging 7.8 yards each time he touches the ball.
“You always like running the ball, but I’m not going to complain about it,” guard Andy Levitre said.
“It was just part of the plan, I guess. I thought we’d run the ball more but it just wasn’t in the cards we were dealt.”