Bills Backfield Situation

Bryce Brown hasn't played a snap this season, but will look to make an impact Sunday versus the Jets. 

Bryce Brown hasn't played a snap this season, but will look to make an impact Sunday versus the Jets. 

Despite a dramatic come from behind victory against the visiting Minnesota Vikings the Buffalo Bills suffered two loses on Sunday. One loss occurred with under a minute to go in the first quarter when 33 year-old veteran Fred Jackson took a handoff and immediately went down in the backfield suffering a groin injury. He was then carted off the field. In the second quarter with the Bills trailing 10-7, we finally saw the agility and speed from Spiller that we’ve been waiting for all season as he took the carry and rushed it up the sideline for a gain of 53-yards before being brought down. This is when the second loss occurred as Spiller broke his collarbone and would be carted off the field as well. Surgery took place for him on Monday and he is almost certain to miss the rest of the season. 

So now what Bills fans? This may not seem like a huge loss losing Spiller as he has had a  disappointing season so far. Just look at the last game before the Vikings when the Bills took on the Patriots. Spiller was on the field for 12; yes 12, of Buffalo’s 69 offensive snaps, rushing for a mere 19-yards on six carries. Only 19 yards?! This came against a New England defense who had given up on average 126 yards on the ground per game. The 12 offensive snaps was the fewest Spiller has played in a game in three years. 

So why do the Bills lose after Spiller went down? He hasn’t performed the way he did back in 2012 when he averaged 6.0 yards per carry so really he wasn’t really helping the team win? Well they lose on potentially trading the dynamic back who’s elusiveness and quickness could have suited a team’s scheme better than offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Hackett wasn’t using Spiller enough in the running game, but the organization could have gotten something for him before the Oct. 28 trade deadline.  

The Bills are now searching for answers when it pertains to their backfield. Steady Freddy is already ruled out for Week 8’s matchup against the New York Jets and possibly out longer. Anthony Dixon stepped in Sunday to fill the void carrying the ball 13 times for 51-yards while also catching three passes for 15-yards. Dixon says he’s ready to be the workhorse and show people what he can do. Not so fast Dixon. Did you forget that the Bills traded a fourth-round pick for a guy named Bryce Brown. Back in May the Bills traded the pick to the Eagles on draft day to help solidify Buffalo’s backfield. The 23-year old Brown is talented, versatile and explosive. Coveted as being the number one running back recruit in 2008, Brown bursted on the N.F.L scene in 2012. Serving as LeSean McCoy’s backup, he started two games that season when McCoy was hurt and rushed for over 100-yards in both contests. Last season for the Eagles Brown averaged 4.2 yards per carry. I’m not saying Brown will be the answer and fill the shoes of Jackson, but I do see Brown getting the nod as the early-down back and in pass situations while Dixon filling in as the short-yardage and goal line back. It’s not an ideal matchup in Week 8 as the Jets are ranked 8th in stopping the run allowing just 88-yards per game. If the Bills want to keep pace with the Patriots and have any chance of making the playoffs this year both Brown and Dixon will have to fill the running back void in the coming weeks.