Colts: Jamaal Charles is Public Enemy No. 1

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts didn’t need to watch last weekend’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland to realize how good of a player Chiefs running Jamaal Charles is.

All Colts coach Chuck Pagano and his staff had to do was look at the film of last season’s game between the Chiefs and Colts.

Charles ran for 226 yards on 22 carries against the Colts in the December 2012 meeting. The Colts have more than Charles’ running ability to worry about this time around. He’s also a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield.

Charles had eight catches for 195 yards and four touchdowns against Oakland. His four touchdown receptions were for 49, 39, 16 and 71 yards. ESPN.com Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher noted that Charles had 165 yards after the catch on those plays, three of which were screen passes. Charles also added a touchdown on the ground.

Now Charles is about to become the Colts’ headache.

“He drives the bus,” Pagano said. “Quarterback is the guy, but everything goes through him. The guy is first and foremost Public Enemy No. 1. We got to do a great job, and we better know where he’s at all times.”

Charles would have a chance to be the league’s MVP this season if not for some guy named Peyton Manning in Denver. ESPN.com reporter Dan Graziano has Charles third behind Manning and Seattle’s Russell Wilson in this week’s MVP watch.

Charles leads in the league in touchdowns with 18 (11 rushing and 7 receiving) he’s third in the league in rushing (1,181) and he also has 65 catches for another 655 yards. He’s accounted for 37 percent of the Chiefs’ yards from scrimmage this season, according to ESPNStatsInfo.

“Explosive. Problem. Mismatch,” Colts linebacker Robert Mathis said. “It takes all 11 guys. We have to know where he is at all times.You cannot lose track of him at any down because he can make you pay running the ball, passing the ball, whatever the case may be. He can make you pay.”

Charles has rushed for less than 70 yards in a game only three times this season. The Colts, who have used a two-back system most of the season, have only had a running back gain more than 70 yards in a game twice this season.

"The guy’s out there for every situation," Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said. "You don’t find that very often in the NFL. A guy who can be out there on first and second down. He can be out there on third down. He can be out there on short yardage and goal line. And he’s valuable in all of them, it really speaks to his versatility. It speaks to his mental capacity and his preparation that he’s able to stay out there for all those, because there’s not many backs that do. And then he’s a weapon in all those situations."