One of the most unexpected numbers on the stat sheet following Sunday’s 26-16 loss was seeing Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles get only five carries for four yards. Matt Cassel, who came off the bench on Sunday, led the team in rushing yards with 35 off of seven scrambles.
It’s hard to figure out why, but the Chiefs have eluded giving the ball to Charles.
In 2010, Charles finished second in the league in rushing and played a big part in helping the Chiefs finish first in rushing. However, then-Chiefs running back Thomas Jones led the team in carries, finishing with 15 more carries than Charles did.
This season, Charles has completed two games in which the Chiefs had him carry the ball less than 10 times. The first time occurred in Week 2 when the Chiefs lost to the Buffalo Bills, 35-17. Charles ran the ball only six times for three yards.
Following games against the New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens this season, Charles led the league in rushing and was one of only a couple of bright spots for a Chiefs team with only one win this season while trying to bounce back from an early, season-ending injury last year.
Considering the Chiefs have issues with injury and consistency from quarterbacks Cassel and Brady Quinn, the Chiefs should look more to their running game. Yes, this is a passing league, but the Chiefs don’t have a viable quarterback. They do have a capable running back.
Chiefs offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has called far more passing plays than he should. This makes Daboll’s chances of being retained in Kansas City less likely. His coaching background wasn’t strong, but he had hoped to change that with better talent in Kansas City.
Charles is currently 15th in the league in carries with 120, while sitting seventh in rushing yards. If the Chiefs were to feed him the ball more, he’d be competing for the rushing title.
Fans aren’t pleased with the poor product on the field each week. The wins aren’t there, nor are the leads as the Chiefs have yet to play with a lead. Daboll might as well give the fans something to cheer about by letting their best player get the ball and showcase his skills.
It appears Daboll is unaware that the best player on his team is Charles. Otherwise, he would have given him more than five carries.