It is time for the national media to start talking about Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles every time they utter the words “most valuable player.”
For weeks not we’ve been hearing about the usual suspects. Peyton Manning was a popular choice throughout most of the first half of the season because folks couldn’t possibly conceive the Colts winning without him. Now that they are losing with him, Manning has dropped out of the conversation.
Phil Rivers was in vogue for a while too. After all, Rivers was playing out of his mind and was going to lead the Chargers on their latest late season push and straight into the playoffs. Apparently Rivers is only responsible for the games San Diego wins, not the ones they lose. Heck, just a few days ago people were actually writing articles suggesting that this might finally be the year San Diego gets over the playoff hump and reaches the Super Bowl.
Then they lost to the Raiders.
Now we’ve moved on to Tom Brady. Tom is the man, they are saying. The Patriots would never be 9-2 without him.
That may be true. Brady is a brilliant QB and he is having a fantastic season. He certainly belongs in the conversation for MVP.
But what about Jamaal Charles?
Charles has rushed for 1,137 yards on only 182 carries. He is averaging a staggering 6.2 yards-per-carry. If Charles keeps up his average over the seasons last four games, he will go in the record books as having the second most productive season EVER for a running back.
It will look something like this:
Best yards-per-carry average in a single NFL season:
1. Jim Brown (6.4) 1963
2. Jamaal Charles (6.2) 2010
3. Barry Sanders (6.1) 1997
And we aren’t even mentioning Charles as a possible MVP candidate?
I woke up this morning to hear that Trey Wingo of ESPN was making a case that Maurice Jones-Drew should be in the MVP conversation.
Give me a break.
It isn’t that Jones-Drew isn’t playing well but he isn’t having even close to as good a season as Charles. Jones-Drew has 40 more yards than Jamaal Charles.
But he has 79 more carries.
Who would you rather have on your team? The guy averaging 4.5 yards-per-carry or the guy averaging 6.2?
Jamaal Charles is having one of the all-time great seasons for an NFL running back and he is a huge reason he Kansas City Chiefs, a team that went 4-12 a year ago, is 8-4 and battling for a playoff spot.
If that isn’t MVP worthy, I don’t know what is.