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C.J. Spiller takes FedEx Ground award for Week 1

By Tim Graham

SpillerMugBuffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller began Sunday's game as the backup, and finished the game with enough yards to be named this week's FedEx NFL Ground Player of the Week.

With captain Fred Jackson sidelined by a knee injury, Spiller ran for a career-high 169 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries. He scored on a 56-yard touchdown run and set up another touchdown with a 49-yard gain. Spiller also had two catches for 25 yards.

Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III won the FedEx NFL Air Player of the Week. He completed 19 of his 26 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns for a 139.9 passer rating in his NFL debut.

The awards are determined by a fan vote conducted at

Spiller beat out San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore and New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley. Griffin finished ahead of Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys and Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons.

Spiller was the only Week One candidate whose team didn't win.

FedEx will make a $2,000 donation in Spiller's name to Junior Achievement of Western New York and an equal donation in Griffin's name to the Washington D.C. chapter.

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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 |

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 |

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 |