Texans 21, Bills 9 Snap Counts: Where is C.J. Spiller?

Thomas B. Shea

Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller played just 26 snaps in Sunday's 21-9 loss to the Houston Texans. He was on the field less than rookie wide receiver T.J. Graham.

Among NFL players that have carried the ball at least 75 times this season, Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller leads them all with a per-carry average of 7.2 yards. Among the NFL's top 15 runners so far this season, only one - Spiller - averages fewer than 13.4 carries per game. He averages 9.8.

There's not a Bills fan breathing today that doesn't want Spiller to get the football much more than the 11 times he got it in yesterday's 21-9 loss to the Houston Texans (or even the 18 times he got it against Tennessee).

It'd help if he were on the field more. Here's a stat that will fuel your rage: Spiller got 26 snaps on offense in Week 9. T.J. Graham, a rookie wide receiver whose yards per reception average (7.8) only barely edges out Spiller's rushing average, got 33.

Rotations

  • Buffalo spent most of its day in a three-wide formation featuring one tight end (Scott Chandler played 55 of 57 snaps) and one running back (Fred Jackson got 35 reps to Spiller's 26, meaning that they were on the field together for at least four plays).
  • Mario Williams' playing time (54 of 64 snaps) was unaffected by his bye week wrist surgery. Chris Kelsay (37 snaps), Kyle Moore (28) and Shawne Merriman (8) rotated in as usual.
  • Nigel Bradham and Kelvin Sheppard (50 snaps each) saw by far the most playing time that they've gotten this season against Houston's formation conservative offense. Nickel defenders Bryan Scott and Justin Rogers got just 14 snaps apiece.
  • Terrence McGee did not play in the game and Aaron Williams got hurt, meaning that beyond Stephon Gilmore (who played every snap as usual), Leodis McKelvin (33 snaps to Williams' 31) got considerably more playing time. That may continue if Williams misses any time.
  • Buffalo is back into its safety rotation now that all three players are healthy, with a 70-30 split between George Wilson (44 snaps) and Da'Norris Searcy (20) looking like the goal.
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