KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It’s easy to look at the 11 carries Jamaal Charles had in each of the last two game and conclude that one of the problems with the Kansas City Chiefs offense is that they’re not feeding their best player enough.
Except it’s not true. Charles is getting the ball plenty. The Chiefs are just getting it to him more as a receiver.
Charles has already caught 20 passes, or half as much as he did all of last season. He is on pace to set a career-high in catches with 80. His current mark is 70, set in 2013.
Charles’ carries are down a little but he still has 59, putting him on pace for 236. That would be the third-highest total of his career and a good number for a back who isn’t particularly big and has several years of wear and tear on him.
Between catches and carries, Charles is on pace to get the ball 316 times. That would leave him 13 short of the career mark he set in 2013, or about one touch per game short.
“He had a couple catches for us that were pretty good and had opportunities for a couple others that would’ve pretty good too," coach Andy Reid said. “So as much as we move him around, I’m OK with [11 carries in each of the last two games]. I’m for whatever it takes to do well."
The last two games haven’t been ideal for the Chiefs to get Charles involved as a runner. They never led in either game and in fact trailed much of the time in both. They are increasing their chances of getting a much needed big play from Charles by throwing it to him when he might have a favorable matchup than by sending him into the line.
The Chiefs have plenty of offensive issues to pick at, from the play of quarterback Alex Smith and the performance of their offensive line to Reid’s play-calling and time management. But what’s ailing their offense has nothing to do with Charles (other than his two costly fumbles in last month’s loss to Denver) or how little the Chiefs are getting him the ball.