KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Here's the company running back Jamaal Charles will keep by having another big game on Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs play against the Raiders in Oakland: LaDainian Tomlinson, O.J. Simpson, Shaun Alexander, Priest Holmes, Emmitt Smith and Eric Dickerson.
Those are the NFL running backs who had at least 100 yards from scrimmage and scored a touchdown in 11 of a season's first 14 games. Charles has done it 10 times in Kansas City's first 13 games.
If Charles can get to 100 yards from scrimmage and score a touchdown against the Raiders on Sunday, maybe it's time to think of him as more than just one of the great backs of his time, but perhaps of all time. The other six backs on that list are either in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Simpson, Smith, Dickerson) or won MVP or offensive player of the year in that same season (Tomlinson, Alexander, Holmes).
Given the season Peyton Manning is having, Charles has little chance to win either the MVP or offensive player of the year. That doesn't diminish his accomplishments for a team that is 10-3 and on the verge of clinching a playoff spot one year after finishing 2-14.
Charles is third in the NFL in rushing yardage. He is second among running backs in receiving yardage. He is second in the league in touchdowns.
For what it's worth, Charles had 128 yards from scrimmage (78 rushing, 50 receiving) and scored two touchdowns against Oakland when the Chiefs played against the Raiders in October at Arrowhead Stadium.