Chiefs set aside the run game, and it shows

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Long, electrifying touchdown runs were once the domain of Kansas City Chiefs featured back Jamaal Charles. But not this season.

Charles has 21 runs of 10 or more yards this season, but his longest run is for 24 yards. And that’s his only run of more than 20 yards.

This isn't the fault of Charles, who still has game-breaking speed. It’s more a function of the emphasis the Chiefs placed in the offseason and training camp on improving what had been a sluggish passing game. The Chiefs worked on their passing, often to the neglect of their running. They had some offseason practices when every play was a pass.

That lack of emphasis is showing now in a lack of execution by the blockers.

"A lot of your longer runs come from receivers blocking down the field," offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said. "Our guys have done an excellent job down there. Sometimes [from behind] the safety or corner makes the play. We emphasize the back-side blocks a lot.

"Credit [the defense] for making the play. But we’re really that close to breaking one. We’ll get ours. There will come a time when Jamaal or one of our backs will spring loose, and hopefully this is the week."