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Bills, Browns could come down to thirtysomething RBs

By Jerry Sullivan

CLEVELAND -- C.J. Spiller is active for tonight's game. But that doesn't mean he'll start, or even play much. I still expect Fred Jackson to start. Willis McGahee is the probable starter at running back for the Browns. Tim Graham and I were wondering how often two 30-plus running backs start a game for their teams. As you might imagine, we don't have time to figure out the oldest RB matchup ever.

Jackson is actually older than McGahee. Fred turned 32 in February. McGahee will be 32 in on Oct. 20, exactly eight months after Fred. Of course, I've argued for years that Jackson is young for his age, because he got into the NFL late and has far less wear and tear on his body than a typical NFL back his age.

Check out the numbers:  Jackson has 1,202 career touches (rushes and receptions).  McGahee has 2,182, nearly twice as many. And as Bills fans will recall, McGahee sat out the entire 2003 season with a knee injury after the Bills drafted him in the first round.

I don't expect much from either running game tonight. The Browns' D leads the NFL in lowest average per attempt at 2.9. The Bills' run defense has played better lately and McGahee, who was signed off the street after Cleveland traded Trent Richardson, isn't exactly in his prime. 

By the way, it's clear and warm here at FirstEnergy Stadium. No sign of thunderstorms. Jay Skurski just launched our pre-game chat. Check it out.

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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 | tgraham@buffnews.com


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 | mgaughan@buffnews.com


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 | jskurski@buffnews.com

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