DETROIT - AUGUST 28: Jahvid Best #44 of the Detroit Lions looks for open field during a first quarter run against the Cleveland Browns during a preseason game on August 28 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
It's unclear exactly how long the respective starters for the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions will play in tomorrow night's preseason finale between the two clubs. In all likelihood, neither first-team offense will see much playing time, which puts a damper on an otherwise highly-anticipated matchup between electric rookie running backs C.J. Spiller and Jahvid Best.
Spiller is the talk of Buffalo at the moment thanks to his scintillating preseason. He's rushed for 122 yards at 4.7 yards per carry, added 35 yards on three receptions, and rushed for three touchdowns in extended work with the first-team offense. He's helped spark Buffalo's starting offense to 38 points overall, and 35 in the last two games alone.
Not to be outdone, however, Best has been just as explosive, aside from the fact that he has yet to find paydirt. Best is averaging an unbelievable 8.6 yards per carry (15 carries, 129 yards), and has also proven to be a dependable receiving target, with four catches for an additional 29 yards. He has the biggest play of the preseason between himself and Spiller, ripping off a 51-yard run on a toss sweep on the first play from scrimmage Saturday against Cleveland.
Most NFL scouts preferred Spiller to Best, a fact highlighted by Spiller's being selected No. 9 overall this past April, while Best slid all the way to No. 30. Best, however, has many of the same qualities that Spiller possesses in high quantities - speed, agility, and unbelievable ability in the open field. Barring health concerns, these two running backs should rank amongst the league's elite play-makers for years to come.
Even if Spiller and Best don't see significant playing time Thursday night, don't fret; instead, mark November 14 on your calendars, when Detroit travels to Buffalo for a Week 10 regular-season matchup.