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C.J. Spiller left unsatisfied by 62-yard run

By Tim Graham

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- A breathtaking 62-yard scurry would be something for most running backs to be thrilled about.

C.J. Spiller viewed it as a failure.

Spiller tore through the defense in the second quarter Sunday, moving the ball from the Buffalo Bills' 15-yard line all the way to the Miami Dolphins' 23-yard line.

Spiller suggested the only way to be happy with that run would be if it went the full 85 yards for a touchdown.

"That should have been six points," Spiller said. "My guys worked their tails off to spring me free that far. They expect me to score, and I didn't deliver on that one."

On a second-and-6 play, Spiller took a delayed handoff and, with the help of effective blocking, slithered through the right side of the Bills' line. He squirted between linebacker Karlos Dansby and safety Jimmy Wilson, evaded leaping safety Chris Clemons and shifted into fifth gear.

Bills receiver Stevie Johnson made a fantastic downfield block on cornerback Sean Smith, allowing Spiller to breeze past.

Defensive end Oliver Vernon somehow got close enough to dive and clip Spiller's ankles. As Spiller righted himself and tried to resume cruising speed, Smith brought him down.

"I was looking at the Jumbotron the whole time," Spiller said of monitoring the defenders around him. "I definitely seen the guy coming. The guy kind of tripped me up, and as soon as I got ready to accelerate, I seen [Smith].

"But I can't let that happen. My guys expect me to score. I expect myself to score. That was definitely a disappointment and something I'll go back and look at."

Whether his competitiveness or intuition led to his feelings, Spiller was proven correct. The next three plays were a pair of Ryan Fitzpatrick incompletions and a Tashard Choice 3-yard loss. Rian Lindell then kicked a 42-yard field goal to make the score 7-3.

An 85-yard touchdown not only would have tied the game, but it also might have catalyzed the Bills for the rest of the afternoon.

Not scoring a touchdown after Spiller's career-long run had to demoralize the woebegone Bills.

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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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