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NFL Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs Need to Bring Back Running Game

Jamaal Charles, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Ron Chenoy – USA TODAY Sports

Let’s face it. The Kansas City Chiefs should have run the ball more in their 27-17 loss to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

One thing that Broncos fans wouldn’t shut up about all last week leading up to the game in Denver is how highly-ranked their run defense is. This ranking is no less skewed than detractors saying the Chiefs haven’t really proven their highly-ranked defense since they haven’t played any “good” teams this season before meeting the Broncos. (The Broncos certainly didn’t play teams that were much better, either). The fact remains that the Chiefs moved away from their running game against Denver, and it hurt them.

Kansas City head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith should have relied more on running back Jamaal Charles as much as he has been all season long. Charles has essentially carried the Chiefs’ running game himself. Instead what we saw were clumsy scrambles to pass more, and this wasn’t really the game for them to practice at passing.

The Chiefs’ offense could have made the Denver defense sweat and scramble, opening up passing lanes in Denver’s weakened secondary.

Sadly, Kansas City veered way off course from their tried and proven run game strategy too early in the game. Charles only got to carry the ball a total of 16 times for 79 yards, and almost half of that came on one 35-yard run. The Chiefs, who have in large part built themselves around Charles and the run game, utilized it well in attaining their 9-0 record before Sunday. It was odd they didn’t follow up against Denver.

They will need to go back to their strengths and what has worked for them leading up to the Broncos game if they’re going to beat them on December 1 and make a good showing in the playoffs.

The Chiefs have six games left in the regular NFL season, and they go up against the San Diego Chargers in Kansas City on Sunday before facing Denver again. They still have a great shot at the AFC West division title, and they could even shine in the Super Bowl.

We’ll see on Sunday if the Chiefs learned anything from their loss.

Jonathan W. Crowell is a writer and an online sports blogger for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @JW_Crowell, “like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.