Jamaal Charles: Prolific Performance Was a Product of Pitiful Saints Defense

David DanielsSenior Writer ISeptember 23, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs is tackled by  Jonathan Casillas #52 of the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 23, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Barack Obama would surpass the century mark against the New Orleans Saints.

OK. Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But don’t get overly excited about Jamaal Charles’ career outing this weekend.

The Kansas City Chiefs only play the Saints once this year, so it’d be foolish to expect the halfback to duplicate his jaw-dropping numbers.

Despite being listed as probable with a sore knee, Charles gained an incredible 233 yards on the ground, 55 more through the air and scored one touchdown—a 91-yarder—in New Orleans. His performance will go down as one of the most outstanding of 2012.

But don’t but into the hype that Charles will ride this momentum to an MVP-caliber campaign.

In the previous two weeks, Charles only recorded a total 119 net yards. And he didn’t even get into the end zone. While his Sunday stat line proves he’s still an elite playmaker, New Orleans’ joke of a defense immensely aided Charles’ effort.

Against the Washington Redskins in Week 1, it allowed 153 rushing yards—96 and two touchdowns to rookie sixth-round pick Alfred Morris. The next week, the Carolina Panthers racked up 219 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

What did we learn from Charles’ display of dominance?

Well, speaking in terms of fantasy, we learned much more about the Saints defense than Charles. If a running back on your team is facing the Saints, he’s a must-play. Charles must prove himself against a respectable defensive unit before he should be expected to explode for 150-plus net yards on a week-to-week basis.

And I’m no doctor, but it’s also safe to say that we learned that Charles’ knee is OK. Following back-to-back blowouts, Kansas City earned its first win of the season on Charles’ back. He must keep his legs churning for the Chiefs to fight their way into the playoffs.

But again, he won’t match Sunday’s numbers, so he’s going to need more help from the weapons around him.


David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.