The Buffalo Bills' offense was effective against the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday's 35-17 victory, rushing for over 200 yards and not allowing a sack for a second straight week. Head coach Chan Gailey had good things to say about the physicality of the offense and running back C.J. Spiller.
"That is what we would rather be," said Gailey of his offense's identity. "We would rather be a physical run team that throws it when they have to, or throws it on surprise situations. That is what we would rather be. We will continue to work down this path as much as we can. Some weeks they do not allow you to do that. They overload the box and you have to go throw it. We understand that."
The Bills focused on the run early and often, and finished the game with 36 rushes to 19 passes. That number is perhaps skewed by the large number of running plays called when they were salting away the final minutes, but when the Bills needed a big play they turned to the running game.Spiller was the beneficiary of the shift in offensive focus, gaining 123 yards on 15 rushes with two touchdowns. He's the first NFL running back to average over 10 yards per carry through the first two games of a season since Jim Brown did it in 1963, and the fourth back in Bills history to start the year with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games.
"I just had great weeks of preparation," said Spiller after the game. "Our offense did a great job of covering these guys up. We knew coming into this game we had to be very decisive running. We had to put our foot down and getting what it takes. It all starts with preparation. I do the same thing every week; I read hard and run hard at practice. It really is just translating it on Sundays."
Cordy Glenn, in particular, had several key blocks for Spiller during the game, including key blocks on both touchdown runs. Spiller doesn't envy the defensive backs seeing the big fellow bearing down on them.
"You know when you got a big guy like that pulling running full speed at you," Spiller said. "You know not too many guys will put their nose up there."
Gailey and GM Buddy Nix thought enough of Spiller to make him the regime's first draft pick in 2010. While Gailey saw Spiller's potential, he has been happy to see Spiller blossom in his time as the lead back.
"I knew he could be [dynamic]," said Gailey. "I did not know whether it would happen or not. I would like to tell you ‘oh sure I saw that,’ but it would be a lie. I did not see it happening like this. I knew it was capable of happening, but I did not know it would."
The Bills lost the heart and soul of their offense when Fred Jackson went down, something BuffaloBills.com lead journalist Chris Brown said should not be overlooked before the game. Spiller led the team on the field, and he gave some of the credit to Jackson after the game.
"Fred Jackson challenged me today to go out there and put the team on my back," Spiller said. "So when that comes down from the leader you know you have to step your game up."
If he keeps playing like this, Spiller may not just take over the mantle of starting running back, but as the heart and soul of the offense. He's 2-for-2 so far.