The New England Patriots should be able to take care of business with ease against the Buffalo Bills tomorrow, but there are a few playmakers on the opposing offense that need to be kept under wraps. The biggest one of them is definitely C.J. Spiller, who is easily one of the most talented running backs that this league has to offer. Bill Belichick praised him earlier this week, and he praised Spiller’s versatility. He also lauded Spiller’s pass-catching ability, and the Patriots had plenty of issues last year against pass-catching RBs. The linebackers are better in coverage this year with Jamie Collins in the fold and Dane Fletcher healthy, and the Patriots do have one of the best run defenses in the league. But Spiller is a guy who can take it to the house on any play, and the Bills are more committed to giving Spiller the ball; the Patriots will still have their hands full.
In fact, that’s the exact phrase that New England Patriots star defensive tackle Vince Wilfork used, and he will certainly have his hands full trying to stop the Bills running game and trying to beat center Eric Wood. Wilfork should have a good game against the Bills, but he knows just how hard it is to face a guy as talented as C.J. Spiller.
Wilfork said to reporters, via WEEI, “[Spiller] is a big challenge. When you talk about a guy who touches the ball 80 percent of the time, they made it clear that’s their guy. They’re going to try to get the ball to him in the run game, in the pass game, and why wouldn’t you? He’s an explosive guy. He can hurt you anywhere on the field. We have to do a really good job up front, just being responsible for our gaps, understand where he can hurt us, and that’s everywhere.”
The Patriots should be able to hold down the Bills rushing attack, but all it takes is one big run and a few missed tackles to break things open. The last time these two teams played, the Patriots gave up 31 points, missed an awful lot of tackles, and they allowed C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson to combine for 150 yards on just 25 carries. Wilfork also said kind words of Jackson yesterday, but he knows that Spiller is the main guy to focus on, especially this year. Spiller is clearly the Bills No. 1 running back, and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is committed to showing that.