Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is the reason his team lost on Sunday to the Denver Broncos. However, it wasn’t Charles’ performance. Statistically, he had a solid game and historically a great outing. There were just two times he didn’t touch the ball when he should have; it could’ve been the difference between the Chiefs winning and losing.
No. 25 made a lot of history this weekend. He became the first back in Kansas City’s franchise to ever have four 1000-yard rushing seasons; Charles passed Abner Haynes and Priest Holmes on the Chiefs career combined-yardage list. With a total of 8,527, he now sits in third behind Dante Hall and Tony Gonzales.
Charles rushed the ball for the 1,003rd time, the fifth most carries in Kansas City annals. He broke personal-best records in both season rushing touchdowns (nine) and season total TDs (11) when he scored from one yard out in the final period. Jamaal had a big day.
Kansas City’s go-to guy led his offense with 21 touches, 120 yards and a score. His numbers equate to roughly a quarter of the Chiefs offensive production. Charles did his part when called upon; the problem is that twice they didn’t give him the opportunity.
On the opening drive, Kansas City found themselves first-and-goal from the two. Instead of handing the ball off to the AFCs leading rusher, coach Andy Reid decided to go to the air and QB Alex Smith was picked-off in the end zone.
Down by seven, with 1:51 remaining in the contest, the Chiefs were threatening to tie things up. Instead of putting the ball in No. 25′s hands, Kansas City chose to target WR Dwayne Bowe for a touchdown. The pass was deflected and the game was over.
It was a fourth-and-four play from the Denver thirteen. Charles was averaging 4.9 yards per carry and 13.5 per reception on the day. Do the math; by averages, it’s either first-and-goal from the eight, or Ryan Succop is kicking a game-tying extra-point for the home team.
Of course there are no guarantees, and the Broncos rightfully won 35-28. If Jamaal Charles had just two more touches on Sunday, however, the outcome may have been very different.
Troy Alan is a Kansas City Chiefs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TRantMedia.