I'm a big Fred Jackson fan. He's been one of the Bills' few feel-good stories in recent years. But I can't deny the facts. Jackson is struggling. He's in the worst slump of his career. Over the last three games, Jackson has rushed 51 times for 153 yards, a 3.0 average. That's pretty weak for a guy who entered the year with a 4.5-yard per carry average, and who was at 5.0 this season after five games.
Jackson isn't fast enough to turn the corner against most NFL defenses. Teams are crowding the run box and daring Ryan Fitzpatrick to beat them. It's working, and there's been too much of a burden on Fitz. Jackson has been even more disappointing in the passing game. He has 12 catches for a paltry 28 yards. This from a back who averaged 8.4 yards on 105 catches his first three seasons.
Jackson lost a key fumble in the third quarter Sunday. It might have been on his mind on the Bills' next possession, when he dropped a pass in the flat. He's better than this. Still, it might be time for Chan Gailey to increase the workload of his star rookie, C.J. Spiller. Spiller is struggling, too. He has a lot of plays for negative yardage and isn't running effectively between the tackles. But they invested the ninth overall pick in the guy and they need to justify the investment. If Spiller is going to be a legitimate NFL running back who operates between the tackles, he needs opportunities to figure it out.
So what do you think? Should Gailey increase Spiller's workload in the second half. Or should he affirm his confidence in Jackson in the featured back and keep feeding Fred, hoping that he breaks out of his slump and becomes the reliable two-way threat of a year ago?