Whether he wins the NFL MVP or not, Jamaal Charles is deserving of it. He has been absolutely vital to the Kansas City Chiefs’ historic comeback season, and if Peyton Manning weren’t putting up such eye-popping numbers, he would probably be leading the race for the award. Despite Manning’s success, there is still a legitimate argument for Charles to take it home.
The former Texas Longhorn leads the league with 18 total TDs, is second with 1,836 total yards (14 yards behind LeSean McCoy) and most importantly, has been incredibly consistent with an inconsistent supporting cast. Charles has scored a TD in all but three contests, he’s reached at least 100 total yards in all but two and still totaled 96 and 72 yards in his “off” games. All of this has been done in a new system, with a new coaching staff, new quarterback and behind a very young and inconsistent offensive line.
The argument for Charles over Manning starts with supporting casts. The Denver Broncos’ offensive line has been tremendous this season, allowing Manning to be sacked fewer times per attempt than any quarterback in the league. And Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas are an unmatched arsenal. Even if you take away one of these guys, the Broncos still have arguably the best weapons in the league and when one of those players missed action, Manning flopped.
Without Julius Thomas, Manning completed just 50 percent of his passes for 150 yards in a loss to the New England Patriots. Then without Welker at home against a terrible San Diego Chargers defense, Manning had a mediocre 289 passing yards with two scores, one pick and was successful on just two of nine third-down conversions. The Broncos also lost that game.
On the other hand, Charles has succeeded even when nothing else was working in an offense that’s had several struggles gaining chemistry and consistency outside of the impressive running back. He now leads the team in rushing yards, receiving yards, receptions and, of course, touchdowns.
Charles has been the rock that the team has been able to count on week in and week out. Without him, the Chiefs may not even be in the playoff hunt at this point, much less have clinched a playoff berth when you consider how many close games Kansas City has won this season.
The NFL MVP is an individual award. Manning is having an amazing season, but it’s been done with incredible help, while Charles has often been the only thing working in the Chiefs’ offense. Add his vital role in the incredible turnaround of a franchise that has made history across all sports, and Charles definitely deserves strong consideration to be the NFL MVP.