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NFL Kansas City Chiefs

5 Reasons Why Kansas City Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles Belongs in the NFL MVP Discussion

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Five Reasons Why Jamaal Charles Should be a MVP Candidate

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

As we enter the last quarter of the 2013 NFL season, the cloudy playoff picture starts to clear up and debates begin to rage over individual awards. Last season, the battle for the coveted MVP trophy was easily narrowed down to two superstars. Both Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson made triumphant returns after suffering career-threatening injuries a season earlier. Peterson took home the hardware in the end as he nearly surpassed Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record.

This season, the field is a little more open. There are cases that can be made for a few different players across the board. Sure, Manning may be the front-runner with the season he’s had, but look at the people he has around him. There are players who have helped their teams emerge out of obscurity and become legitimate Super Bowl contenders. With that being said, allow us to bring Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles into the conversation.

Charles is in the midst of his sixth season out of the University of Texas. He was drafted by the Chiefs in the third round of the 2008 draft. In the past, Charles has been one of the few bright spots on terrible Kansas City teams. This year, Charles is the offensive leader on a team that could be poised for a Super Bowl dash. The time is now to take Charles seriously as a potential NFL MVP candidate.

Here are five reasons why Jamaal Charles belongs in the discussion for the 2013 NFL MVP award.

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5. Alex Smith

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs are 9-3. There is no doubt that the team’s defense is their strongest area, and yet the offense still has to put up points. The Chiefs' offense would be dead in the water without Charles. Alex Smith has proven time and again that he is capable of managing games in the NFL. However, he rarely shows the ability to take over a game. He simply doesn't lose games and doesn't win games. So how is the Kansas City offense ranked ninth in points per game when Smith is just 24th in the NFL in passing yards per game? The reason: the elite play of Jamaal Charles.

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4. Rushing Stats

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Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Charles' numbers are as good as anyone's. He has rushed for 1,011 yards this season, which is the third-most in the NFL. He’s behind only Peterson and LeSean McCoy. Charles is a consistent runner who has rushed for under 70 yards in a game only twice this season. At this rate, Charles has a shot to be the league’s leading rusher this season and set a career-high for himself in rushing yards for a single season. His career-high right now is 1,509 yards, which he rushed for last year.

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3. Receiving Stats

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

One of the main reasons why Charles is one of the NFL’s most dynamic running backs is because of his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield while lined up as a wide receiver. Charles has a total of 55 receptions this season, which is tied for second among running backs, and 454 receiving yards, which is the third-highest total among running backs. Charles has a chance to rack up 2,000 all-purpose yards this season, which is no easy feat.

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2. Touchdowns

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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Charles’ speed and explosiveness makes him a constant threat to score no matter where he is on the field. He has rushed for nine touchdowns and caught two more, which makes him tied for third in total touchdowns scored this season. He is also tied for first among running backs.

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1. Kansas City Chiefs: Past & Present

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs have been a notoriously weak team in recent years. In fact, the Chiefs finished with an abysmal 2-14 record last season. This year, however, has been a different story. Kansas City is currently 9-3 and is sitting in prime playoff position. A new coach and a new quarterback have helped alleviate some of the pressure from a very good defense, but the play of Jamaal Charles has made Kansas City a legitimate threat in the AFC.