Scouting Notebook: Spiller is special

Michael Salfino
Yahoo Sports

C.J. Spiller's 7.26 yards per rush is the most for any running back with 87 or more carries since Skeet Quinlan of the Rams averaged 7.27 yards on 97 totes for the 1953 Los Angeles Rams. All this has earned him 39 attempts the last four games to 47 for Fred Jackson (4.0 yards per carry for the year).

But Quinlan didn't have the most carries on the Rams that year, either. To the chagrin of the fantasy football world of 1953, Hall of Famer Dan Towler was given 152 carries that year. Quinlan's Strat card rocked, though. And, like Spiller this year, his rating was also bumped up in Madden ('54). My guess is that it doesn't matter what Spiller does on the field because the better it is, the more the Bills will just use that elite performance as evidence that Spiller is getting exactly the right amount of touches.

And I know that Jackson is good and deserves to play in a world where all things are basically equal, but they are not equal in Buffalo.

Calvin Johnson owners, your long national nightmare is over. After a five-game scoring drought, he finally caught a touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford. Whoever had "Week 10" in the pool wins. And it only took him 12 catches, too – a TD on 8.3 percent of catches when he came into the game at about two percent. (It was 13.4 percent for his career heading into the year.)

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Adrian Peterson: Better than he was before. Better. Stronger. Faster. (Getty)

You have got to be kidding me with Adrian Peterson. They made him better than he was. Stronger. Faster. I had no idea Oscar Goldman was in charge of his surgical team, otherwise I would have really moved him up the rankings in August, I swear.

Christian Ponder also had a great day against a Detroit defense that had been really stout all year. While Kyle Rudolph was, again, nothing great on a per-target basis (7.1 yards), he found the end zone, again.

The Saints running back situation is complicated. We don't know how long Darren Sproles is out. But I think even when he returns, it's to a conventional, third-down role. Chris Ivory has looked Marshawn Lynch-like, but Mark Ingram got the bulk of the carries again (16). I think Ivory is better. But then I might take Deuce McAllister over Ingram given all the aspersions I've cast Ingram's way. So, Ivory is the upside free agent play and Ingram has the higher floor. Forget Pierre Thomas, by the way, because Joe Vitt has.

Well, I guess Jimmy Graham is healthy again.

Michael Turner's awfulness was the other big news out of this Falcons-Saints game. Well, that and 36-year-old Tony Gonzalez now being on pace for 108 catches.

The Giants have no downfield passing game. Eli Manning's arm strength didn't seem the issue. Guys just are not open. Hakeem Nicks seems to have lost all explosion. Victor Cruz now is being forced outside when he's in the slot. The Bengals just had a linebacker stand to Cruz's inside, facing the sideline, waiting to knock his block off. When you are running toward the sideline as a slot receiver, you generally can forget about big plays. Cruz did drop an easy 30-yard TD when the game was well out of hand.

The Giants have played four true No. 1 (on their team) wideouts this year: Vincent Jackson, DeSean Jackson, Steve Smith and now A.J. Green. The results: 22 completions in 33 attempts for 398 yards and three TDs – a 138.2 passer rating. Next up (after a bye): Jordy Nelson and the Packers.

If the great Al Davis wasn't already dead, Sunday's Raiders performance against the Ravens may have killed him. I don't know what to take from this game: the Raiders defense didn't show up and garbage time corrupted the Raiders offensive numbers. But I note Oakland kicked a field goal down 48-17 to make it a four-score game with 12:47 left. Justice for this silliness was served when Jacoby Jones took the ensuing kickoff to the house.

Didn't see the Titans game coming in a million years. I think that Reggie Bush is a talented guy. I've forgiven him for his past disappointments. My issue is how limited his touches are given that he's the only real playmaker on the team. Particularly upsetting is that he has only 20 catches. That's playcalling malpractice.

Chris Johnson is on pace for about 1,400 rushing yards with the second best yards per carry of his career. I'm not playing know it all here. I traded for him at his initial low and then saw his value sink even further – to the point I couldn't have moved him even if I wanted to. But if you're looking for a lesson here, it's this: When a player was great in an non-environment-dependent way (as CJ was), don't bail unless you see a decline in a signature skill (in CJ's case, speed, which even his harshest critics this year didn't really question).

It's funny how Seattle wide receivers Golden Tate and Sidney Rice throw the ball better than Jets "quarterback" Tim Tebow, when the gadget play calls for it. I think I owe Brian Schottenheimer an apology, too. He made Mark Sanchez look about average, miles better than how he's looking now in Tony Sparano's offense.

Not sure how to slot Rice among receivers except to say that you have to play him given that he now has six TDs (four in the last three games). Rice almost had a third one today but was stripped at the last second by Antonio Cromartie.
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