ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - After finishing second in the NFL last season in rushing, the Bills backfield struggling to produce the same way in 2014.
The most recent display of problems running the ball was against New England, who held the Bills to 68 yards on 23 carries. The week prior, the Detroit defense halted the ground game to just 49 yards rushing.
They currently rank 23rd in the league in yards per rushing attempt.
So the Bills see change is quite apparently needed.
"We can't have penalties that's going to hurt ourselves," Bills running back Fred Jackson said. "We can't fumble the ball and throw interceptions and things like that as well. It's on us as an offense collectively to go in and look at ourselves and be harsh critics and know what we've got to come out here and get better at doing."
"We’ve got to go back and get this thing going again because you put so much on emphasis on the other stuff, you improve and then, all of the sudden, you take something that was you’re strength, that I believed was our strength, and it goes down," head coach Doug Marrone said. "That’s what you can’t have. That’s what happens when you become inconsistent."
C.J. Spiller was hoped to bring a spark to the running game that he did two years ago, but that has not come about. While he leads the team in rushing, Spiller has not rushed for more than 70 yards in a game this entire season. Marrone feels there are more than one party to blame for Spiller's tough beginning.
"I’m not trying to deflect criticism," Marrone said. "Are there things that C.J. can do better? Yes, as well as everyone else. We go in trying to get him the ball on the perimeter at times. Sometimes teams will let you do that. Everyone is aware, when he’s on the field, of what’s going on trying to get him in space with the ball. It starts with us. I wouldn’t sit here and say, ‘It’s all on him.’ We’ve got to do a better job, as coaches, of finding a way to get him the ball in space."
The Bills host the Vikings Sunday afternoon. Kick-off is set for 1:05 pm.