Originally written on Down and Distance  |  Last updated 11/14/14

C.J. Spiller will be the surprise player of the 2012 NFL Season

As a Bills fan, heading into the 2012 season I am nothing but optimistic. Everyone is talking about the signing of the best free agent available this off-season. Along with the addition of Mark Anderson, to round out, on paper, one of the best defensive lines in the league. Furthermore, other fans point to the great 2012 draft and the addition of Stephon Gilmore, Cordy Glenn, T.J. Graham and Nigel Bradham (with possible late round steals of Zebrie Sanders and Tank Carder).

But what excites me more than all of that is the run game. Sure, a healthy Fred Jackson will be a great piece to the offense but something tells me C.J. Spiller is going to be the offensive player every one is talking about by the end of the season. Most Bills fans I talk to about Spiller have already wrote him off, called him a bust and proclaimed this Jacksons’ team.

Let me take a page out of Lee Corso’s book, Not So Fast My Friend

If I asked you to name the top 5 running backs by yards per attempt last year, would you include C.J. Spiller? Probably not but he is there. Fred Jackson and DeMarco Murray led the league with 5.5 yards per attempt, followed by Darren McFadden, Ben Tate, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart at 5.4 yards per attempt. Spiller is right behind this group at 5.2 yards per attempt.

Spiller also had seven carries over 20 yards which was 13th best in the NFL. However, Spiller did that with only 107 attempts. LeSean Mccoy, who led the league with 14 carries of 20 yards or more had 273 attempts. If you limit this stat to 200 carries or less, Spiller becomes the fourth highest running back who broke a run off for 20 or more yards. If you set it to 150 carries, Spiller becomes the second highest just behind McFadden.

Now I am sure by now you are saying “sure you can skew stats to make almost any player look good”.

But, Spiller’s numbers speak for themself. If Spiller had doubled his carries (to 214 carries), and his stats, he would have finished the season with 1,122 yards and 8 touchdowns. That would have placed Spiller at 10th in rushing yards last year and 12th in rushing touchdowns.

Still need more convincing? No problem. Did I mention that when Spiller was starting, the Buffalo Bills were missing two of their five starting offensive lineman. Left tackle Demetrius Bell and center Eric Wood were gone for the season.

If Spiller was the permanent starter for the Buffalo Bills he would certainly break 1,000 yards rushing and could top 500 yards receiving. Spiller is the explosive weapons the Bills backfield needs. If he can learn how to shake defenders when he gets into the open field, look out because Spiller will be a problem. Chan Gailey got creative with Spiller and Jackson last year before Jackson was injured and I expect nothing different in 2012. If you are looking for a “sleeper” player in 2012, look no further because it will be C.J. Spiller.

So, I have to ask, where is the love for C.J. Spiller?

The post Where is the love for C.J. Spiller? appeared first on DOWN & DISTANCE.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

FCS star QB considering transferring to Oregon

Gronk on interest in his partying: 'I'm a baller'

Jim Harbaugh looking to flip No. 1 quarterback recruit

Colts' suspension of Richardson voids $3.1 million

Five players replacing the biggest names in Pac-12 for 2015


Report: Broncos hire Phillips as defensive coordinator

LeBron James misses Cavs-Blazers game due to wrist injury

Iceman: Thompson’s 37-point quarter doesn't break his record

Mayweather visited Pacquiao’s hotel room for private meeting

Seahawks GM: Russell Wilson's contract 'presents challenges'

JR Smith: Lack of partying in Cleveland is better than NY

Padres are bringing back the brown pinstripes

Phil Jackson's old Knicks teams used to deflate balls

David Blatt: There should be more LeBron MVP talk

Richard Sherman, girlfriend expecting son during SB week

WATCH: Marshawn, Gronk play Mortal Kombat with Conan

Armstrong: I’d use PEDs again under same circumstances

Top five free agent quarterbacks

Report: NFL investigators to consult physicist on Deflategate

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

Best prop bets about the Super Bowl broadcast

Ten worst teams to ever play in a Super Bowl

Marshawn's new stiff arm to media: You know why I'm here

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Blatt wants more LeBron MVP talk

Best Super Bowl ads of all-time

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

Ten worst teams to ever play in a SB

Six MLB teams going all-in on 2015

Patriots' keys to Super Bowl victory

Seahawks' keys to Super Bowl victory

DeflateGate ball could fetch $50K

Doug Baldwin ready for Revis Island

Top storylines for Super Bowl XLIX

Barnes unhappy with NBA over fine

Does MLB need more offense in the modern game?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.