The Chiefs managed to win a game when they had absolutely no passing game, primarily because of big plays by Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster, but still, I am left very concerned that Charles did not get his first touch until 1:17 left in the first quarter.
For the game, Charles had 11 rushes for 92 yards, compared to 11 rushes for 39 yards for Jones. I was all for the Jones signing – the Chiefs needed depth – but if you are going to have 22 running back carries, well, I want Charles to get about 18 of them.
I just don’t get it. I didn’t get it last year when the Chiefs kept giving Larry Johnson carries so he could run into the back of linemen. I didn’t get it when Charles flashed big play potential, but the Chiefs still tried to give carries to replacement level player Kolby Smith after the LJ Twitter incident. Charles basically forced their hand because the Chiefs had no one else, and he ended with the 19th highest rushing total over the last eight games of a season in the 16 game schedule era. All the kid does is make plays behind a line that isn’t very good at run blocking, and in an offense that desperately needs big plays because they rarely come from downfield passing.
I was hoping that the signing of Jones would result in spelling Charles, and something along the lines of a 70/30 split where they kept Charles from getting overextended beyond about 20 touches. Give Jones short yardage carries. Use him to ice the game late and preserve Charles when/if playing with a big lead. Do not waste first quarter carries on a guy who will get you three yards. Charles seems to break a big play about every fifth play he gets and the Chiefs need them more than most teams. His vision and speed combo is amazing, and if he gets through the line cleanly, look out. I called last night’s touchdown the minute he broke past the line at full speed, before he even started to tailor the clown suit for Eric Weddle. If last year wasn’t enough, you would think maybe that run would jolt Haley to reality.
Next carry, Thomas Jones. I need a support group. Giants fans, how did you deal with the whole Tiki Barber and Ron Dayne thing?
In other news, Trent Dilfer would not stop raving about Matt Cassel. Cassel finished the game averaging 3.1 yards per pass attempt and 62 total yards passing. Dilfer clearly can relate to that performance, and has a soft spot for guys who, well, are “game managers.” I’m pretty sure I was watching a different game than Dilfer.