--RB C.J. Spiller, the team's first-round pick out of Clemson in 2010, has given the front office something to think about regarding handing veteran Fred Jackson a rich contract extension. Spiller, who has been starting since Jackson was lost for the year with a broken leg, has been very good the past two games, including recording his first 100-yard game against Denver (111 on 16 carries). On the year, he has 94 carries for 501 yards, a whopping 5.3 average. "C.J.'s playing extremely well right now," coach Chan Gailey said. "He's seeing things a lot better, is a lot more patient and he's a threat out of the backfield as a receiver. It's a great opportunity for him to show what he can do and he's taking advantage of that opportunity." Spiller figures to have another strong game this week vs. New England's 32nd-rank run defense, allowing 411.7 yards per game.
--Many NFL rookies not used to a 16-game season spread over 17 weeks hit "the wall." Bills' top pick Marcell Dareus, however, seems to be getting stronger and should make several NFL All-Rookie teams. "It doesn't seem like he's hit the wall and he's battling some being beat up a little," coach Chan Gailey said. "He's battling a couple of things so that's been impressive."
--Veteran LB Chris Kelsay's big game against Denver got better this week when the NFL awarded him a second sack, giving him a career-high three for a single game. His 30.5 sacks are 10th most in club history. The extra sack was awarded when what was initially ruled an interception that Spencer Johnson returned for a TD was ruled a sack/forced fumble by Kelsay and fumble returned for a touchdown. Buffalo's takeaways have come in bunches this year.
"It's frustrating when you lose an the way we've dropped several games in a row," Kelsay said. "Our coaching staff, all the players, put in a lot of time. I can speak for everybody in that room, this game, this means a ton to us so when you're not rewarded for that effort it's easy to get down. But the character of this team is the exact opposite of that. We came together and we're going to continue to work."
--Brandon Coutu, who has never kicked in an NFL game, will be the Bills kicker Sunday in New England. He replaces free agent Dave Rayner (pelvis) who had replaced Rian Lindell (shoulder). The Bills gave no reason for placing Rayner on injured reserve Wednesday, but he had been dealing with a sore pelvis. He was 4 of 6 on field-goal attempts in Saturday's win over Denver and was 10 of 15 overall for Buffalo. Coutu was most recently on the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad. He was a seventh-round pick of Seattle in 2008.
--Veteran safety and team captain George Wilson has been named the Bills' 2011 Walter Payton Man of the Year. He was also selected in 2009. The prestigious award began in 1970 and honors players who demonstrate outstanding balance in their lives between civic and professional responsibilities. It's named for the late and great Chicago Bears running back. Wilson leads the Bills with four interceptions and is second in tackles with 96 despite missing three games with a neck stinger. In the community, his charity work is extensive, including efforts to help youth become physically fit, acting as spokesperson for the Bills Play 60 Campaign. Wilson will receive $1,000 for the charity of his choice from NFL Charities and is eligible for the league-wide NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year honor. Other Bills honored with the award include Fred Jackson, Lee Evans, Drew Bledsoe, Jim Kelly, Jerry Butler, Ted Washington, London Fletcher, Ruben Brown and Brian Moorman.
BY THE NUMBERS
17 -- Number of players to record a pass reception this season, a new club record.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"Yeah, it was good. You kind of forget the feeling because it's been so long. It was just good, just good for us moving forward, to build that confident, to know we can still do this. We can still play like that if everybody plays up to their capabilities." -- FS Jairus Byrd after the Bills snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 40-14 victory over Denver.
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