When the Buffalo Bills selected running back C.J. Spiller in the first round of April's NFL Draft, most experts believed that the team's first-round pick in 2007, Marshawn Lynch, was on his way out of Buffalo. The Bills have remained reticent to deal Lynch since that point in time, and the reason for that reticence has become clear: Lynch has emerged, for all intents and purposes, as Buffalo's feature tailback.
He hasn't disappointed, either. Lynch has started each of the past two games, carrying the ball 30 times for 143 yards (4.8 yards per carry) in those contests. Spiller and incumbent starter Fred Jackson, meanwhile, have logged just 18 carries combined in those games, meaning that Lynch is getting a healthy 62.5% of the rushing workload.
Chan Gailey's decision has thus fair paid off for the Bills. With Lynch running efficiently, the Bills have been able to get a second back going in both games. In Green Bay, it was Jackson, who ran for 39 yards and the team's lone touchdown on the day. Yesterday in New England, it was Spiller, whose 19-yard burst was the Bills' longest run on the season. He also added a receiving touchdown.
It's hard to imagine a game scenario in which the Bills are able to get all three backs going. That's nearly impossible to do in the NFL. With a rejuvenated Lynch spearheading a more efficient Bills backfield, however, the Bills are finally getting the type of production they need from their best positional group. Now they just need to run the ball a bit more; the Bills ran the ball just five times in the second half against New England.