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C.J. Spiller dazzling his teammates, too

SpillerChiefs

By Tim Graham

How well did the Buffalo Bills play today against the Kansas City Chiefs?

Chan Gailey, Ryan Fitzpatrick, C.J. Spiller and Kyle Williams all stood behind the lectern in the postgame news-conference room in Ralph Wilson Stadium and there was not one mention of Leodis McKelvin's 88-yard punt return for a touchdown.

There were too many other positives to talk about:

* The goal-line stand right before halftime.

* Tighter pass coverage.

* Five sacks.

* Rebounding from that opening-day debacle.

* Marcell Dareus playing with a heavy heart.

And, of course, C.J. Spiller.

"C.J. was the reason," Bills receiver Stevie Johnson said of the offense's success. "We were moving because we gave the ball to him. He got things rolling."

Spiller, the third-year running back, was dynamite again. He rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 attempts. He had a team-high three receptions for 47 yards.

On opening day, Spiller rushed for a career-high 169 yards on 14 carries. So his 8.2-yard average this afternoon lowered his season average.

Buffalo News columnist Jerry Sullivan, who'll be writing about Spiller for Monday morning's paper, asked Bills coach Chan Gailey if he could foresee this kind of impact from Spiller.

"I knew he could be," Gailey said. "I didn't know whether it would happen or not. I would like to tell you, 'Oh, sure. I saw that.' But that'd be a lie. I mean, I didn't see it happening like this."

I asked Spiller what it feels like to go into a game knowing the defense wants to eliminate him from the game yet still dominate with the ball in his hands.

"It's fun," Spiller said with grin and a shrug. "I kind of already had that mindset. Other teams, these guys are grown men. They watch the film just like I watch the film on them. I just have to make sure I'm prepared for whatever they throw at me.

"The offensive line, them guys take the challenge each and every day. They go out there every Sunday and cover those guys up. I just make my reads and try to be decisive."

Spiller got loose a few times. Spiller's touchdown run went for 17 yards in the first quarter. He had a 38-yard run and a 27-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter. He had a 20-yard run on his only fourth-quarter touch.

"That's what you play for," Bills right tackle Erik Pears said of watching the back of Spiller's jersey run away from him.

(Photo: Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | [email protected]


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | [email protected]


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | [email protected]

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