When the Kansas City Chiefs signed Jamaal Charles to a five-year extension, they did so for his explosive plays like the 56-yard touchdown week 1 against the Chargers, not for 40-yard days like the one he put up Sunday. The young running back also expects much more of the former.
“It was an embarrassing day for me,” he said, his voice rising slightly from its normal placid tone. “I signed the contract, and then I didn’t come through for the people I’m supposed to come through for. It was embarrassing. I didn’t do (well) enough.”
The Chargers stacked the line of scrimmage against Charles and Jones, but the Chiefs have seen that for weeks and still entered Sunday’s game as the league’s top rushing team.
Oakland, meanwhile, shredded the Chargers for more than 200 rushing yards last week.
“We run the ball every week,” Charles said. “Everybody knows what we do. It doesn’t matter who the quarterback is. We’re a running team. They just outdid us, embarrassed us. We’ve just got to come back next week and prove ourselves as an offense.
“We know their defense is not that good. But they came through and stopped us.”
The only game this season that Charles went through with a shorter “long” run was the Chiefs 49-29 loss to the Denver Broncos. In that game Charles’ best run that day was just 7 yards, but he contributed 5 catches for 84 yards, including a 24 yarder. In San Diego on Sunday he wasn’t even a factor in the passing game only hauling in 2 passes for 9 yards.
Charles certainly wasn’t on his game, but more blame should fall at the feet of the play-calling. There is no excuse for Charles only carrying the ball twice in the first quarter. The few times he was targeted in the passing game, he was never given a chance for yards after the catch. Charles should be the one trying to make people miss on the screens, not Terrence Copper.
The Chargers did exactly what everyone in the country knew they would do and that’s force Brodie Croyle to beat them. That is when you need to use Charles and Dexter McCluster (0 catches) on quick passes.
You have to like seeing the kid take on so much responsibility, but the Chiefs had much bigger problems on Sunday than Charles.