FanPost

Spiller vs Jackson Revisited

I was reading J2's article a couple days ago that said the Bills need to start Spiller, and immediately agreed. However, one of the things I love to do (to help procrastinate at work) is to look at stats about the Bills and see what they can actually tell us. So I have broken down Jackson and Spiller's performances so far this year, and gave a short glance back at last year.

One scary thing about this analysis: I had to include Choice to help make a point about how Jackson has been playing so far this season.

First up this year:

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2012

Spiller

Jackson

Choice

Rushes

60

44

34

Rush Yards

453

126

145

Rush Avg

7.6

2.9

4.3

Receptions

13

9

3

Rec Yards

141

85

9

Rec Avg

10.8

9.4

3.0

Yards/Touch

8.1

4.0

4.2

TD

5

1

0

Plays 20+ Yards

8

1

1

I think this table tells us what we already knew about Spiller's season: It's awesome. I know it's a small sample size, but Spiller is leading the NFL with 7.6 yards/attempt, the leading averages in the NFL for the last 5 years: 5.5 (Freddy/Murray), 6.4 (Charles), 5.9 (Charles/Jones), 5.6 (Ward) and Norwood (6.0). Spiller's average is a full 1.2 yards better than event he best average over the last 5 years, we need to feed him the ball.

But how is Freddy doing? Not well. His rushing average is lower than Choice's. Let that sink in: Choice has been better per touch than Fred Jackson. Surprisingly Jackson is still adept at making plays when he catches the ball. This indicates to me that we should make Spiller the lead back and make Freddy the third down back. Or we should split Freddy out wide and leave Spiller in the backfield.

So how drastic has Fred Jackson's drop in skill been? Well here are the 2011 numbers:

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2011

Spiller

Jackson

Choice

Rushes

107

170

23

Rush Yards

561

934

70

Rush Avg

5.2

5.5

3.0

Receptions

39

39

7

Rec Yards

269

442

51

Rec Avg

6.9

11.3

7.3

Yards/Touch

5.7

6.6

4.0

TD

6

6

1

Plays 20+ Yards

7

18

0

Spiller and Jackson were close in rushing average, but again we see that Jackson is quiet good at catching the ball, which brings his overall average up. As far as average yards/touch Spiller has improved by 2.4 and Jackson decreased by 2.6.

Long story short, the numbers back up J2's opinion that we really need to make a fundamental change and start giving Spiller a lopsided share of the carries from this point forward. If we give the ball to Spiller for an entire season we might see one of the better seasons by a running back in the last 5 years (on a per/touch basis).

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.

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