FOXBORO — The Patriots held C.J. Spiller to just 33 yards on eight carries on Sept. 30 in Western New York, a big reason why the Patriots were able to hold the Bills scoreless during a 38-0 run that helped them cruise to a 52-28 win.
Before those two games, Spiller had games of 169 and 123 yards against the Jets and Chiefs before getting injured in Week 3 against the Browns. He is averaging over seven yards a carry and has 24 catches out of the backfield at nearly 10 yards a clip.
He is the perfect complement to Fred Jackson  and Tashard Choice . And the Patriots know that sweeping the season series starts with repeating their Week 4 effort when they held the Bills under 100 yards rushing and allowed a manageable 3.6 yards per carry.
“Obviously, they’re a two-headed monster, really a three-headed monster,” Jerod Mayo  said this week. “Choice provides a spark off the bench as well. Anytime a guy is averaging seven yards a carry, you know they can always take it to the house so it’ll take a group effort. The front seven has to do an excellent job staying on blocks and hopefully making plays.
“His role has increased. He’s doing a lot more things for them. He catching a lot more screens, he’s breaking a lot more runs. I don’t think he was averaging seven yards a carry when we played them the first time.”
While the Patriots have been criticized non-stop for their inability to stop the pass, they’re allowing just 88 yards a game on the ground, tied for seventh in the NFL.
“Yeah, it is [satisfying] but you’re only as good as your last performance so we have to go out here and play well,” Mayo said.