Reporting Daryl Ruiter
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) - Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller is off to a legendary start to the 2012 season – and he isn’t even the starter.
Spiller has been filling in for the injured Fred Jackson, who is expected to miss a second straight game with sprained knee, and it’s unclear when he will return to action.
Until then, it’s Spiller time.
Spiller has run for 292 yards and 3 touchdowns on 29 carries through the first 2 games.
That’s 10.1 yards per carry.
He is just the second player to average 10 yards or better with a minimum of 25 carries, in the first 2 games since Hall of Famer Jim Brown (11.3 yards) in 1963.
Spiller is also seeking to become the first Buffalo back to rush for 100 yards in the first three games of a season since O.J. Simpson (1973, 75).
“Those are 2 of the greatest running backs to ever play the game,” Spiller said. “Just be be mentioned among them it’s a humbling experience but I can’t sit around and dwell on the success that we had because it’s a long season and our main goal is to get to the playoffs.”
The Browns’ Hall of Famer will be on hand for Sunday’s game at Browns Stadium too.
“Of course I’d love to meet him,” Spiller said. “I think I met him when i came out for the draft in New York City. If he’s down there on the field I will [say hello] but I’m not going into the game trying to put on a show for anybody. I’m just going to go out there and try to help my team win.
“I’m not worried about who is in the crowd or who is not in the crowd.”
Spiller takes little credit for his recent success. After all, football is the ultimate team game.
“It all starts up front with the offensive line,” Spiller said. “Those guys are doing a great job of blocking guys, opening running lanes and then the wide receivers and tight ends are down field blocking.
“It starts with that and the preparation leading up. I think we’ve had good weeks of preparation leading up to the games.”
Led by Spiller, the Bills enter Sunday’s game leading the league with a 6.4 yards per carry average and they also average a league-best 198 yards rushing per game.
“We don’t want to have a tendency where we’re a run heavy team,” Spiller said. “We like to run the ball but we’d rather be a balanced offense so teams cant try to make us one dimensional.”
Buffalo’s offense has been opportunistic through the first 2 games. The Bills have scored touchdowns on each of their 5 trips inside the red zone.
The Bills made a major splash during the offseason when they signed free agent defensive end Mario Williams to a 6-year, $100 million contract in March. He has not recorded a sac through the first 2 games.
The addition of Williams has helped renew excitement in Buffalo.
“Everybody’s excited because of the whole team,” Spiller said. “Because of the key additions that we made in the offseason, all of the returning starters that we had coming back so it hasn’t been a one man thing.
“The fans are excited and they should be. We’re excited as well but at the same time we still have to go out there and get the job done.”
The fans will be even more excited if Spiller and the Bills run out of Cleveland with a win.