Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles is back.
Despite receiving only six carries for three yards a week ago in a loss to the Buffalo Bills, Charles made up for his lackluster day by putting the Chiefs on his back to the tune of 233 yards on 33 carries.
The big day gives Charles 323 yards rushing on the season. He leads Maurice Jones-Drew (314), C.J. Spiller (308), Reggie Bush (302) and Arian Foster (294).
Charles got a little help yesterday as both Spiller and Bush went down with unfortunate injuries that will likely cause them both to miss time.
Charles knows all about unfortunate injuries. After coming off a career year in 2010, Charles was primed for a superstar season in 2011 before tearing his ACL in the second game of the season against the Lions. There was some question as to whether Charles, who relies so heavily on his speed and cutback ability, would ever be the same again.
Even Charles wasn’t sure.
“I didn’t trust myself (until Sunday),’’ Charles said after the game. “It really hit me when I started getting the runs. I started trusting myself.
“I kind of feel like the old me, especially breaking that long run and finishing it. It’s motivating me more that I still have my speed and I still can run the long ones.’’
That “long run” Charles is referring to was a 91-yard scamper down the Chiefs’ sideline in which the RB out-ran the entire Saints defense. Charles set a franchise record with that run.
The play changed the entire game for the Chiefs. It pulled them within 11 points but more importantly, it seemed to snap the rest of the team out of the funk they’d been in since the beginning of the season.
Stanford Routt came up with a huge interception on the very next drive. Justin Houston sacked Drew Brees in the end zone to bring the Chiefs within a field goal.
Following Charles’ run, here are the drive results for both teams for the rest of the game.
Kneel Down (to end the 4th)
When all was said and done, Charles accounted for 233 rushing yards and 55 receiving yards for a total of 288 yards. The entire New Orleans Saints offense had 288 yards on the day.
Charles touched the ball 39 times Sunday. That isn’t something that can happen every game or Charles will never make it through the season. But on this day, on a day when the Chiefs need their most dangerous weapon to lift them up and save their season, 39 touches was just right.
And now Jamaal Charles is once again the toast of NFL rushers.