The Kansas City Chiefs were hosed on a no-call in week 17 of the 2013 NFL regular season against the San Diego Chargers as the referees missed an illegal defensive formation by the Chargers on a field goal attempt that would have won the game for the Chiefs. However, that no call really only affected the Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers and not so much KC.
This Kansas City team has pretty much been locked into a wildcard spot in the AFC for a while now with the Denver Broncos running the AFC West. As a result, the Chiefs will be playing this weekend in the wildcard round of the 2014 NFL Playoffs, facing off with the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts knocked off the Chiefs in week 16 of the regular season by a score of 23-7, which has to be in the back of both teams’ minds. However, if I’m Andy Reid and the rest of the Kansas City coaching staff, I’m looking at that week 16 loss as a warning of what this team can’t do in the postseason rematch.
One of the glaring matters from that loss was the fact that Jamaal Charles wasn’t getting a high number of touches. Despite averaging 8.2 yards per carry and opening up the scoring with a 31-yard touchdown run, Charles got only 13 carries in that loss and also got just five catches in the passing game for 38 yards. Sure, he finished the day with 144 yards from scrimmage, but the 18 total touches and lack of carries is what really concerns me.
The Colts have just the 26th ranked rushing defense this season and have been exploited in that area on several occasions. With a player like Charles that will keep chipping away until he breaks a monster run, you have to stay committed to getting him touches and carries for him to reach maximum effectiveness.
Kansas City can’t afford to shy away from Charles in this game, even if they get down early on. Alex Smith isn’t what makes this Cheifs’ offense run; it’s Charles. Reid and the Chiefs need to make sure they realize this in Indy when the two face off this weekend or it could be a rough go of it and an early playoff-exit for KC.