Kansas City Chiefs’ running back Jamaal Charles is arguably one of the best all-purpose running backs in the NFL, if not the best.
In six seasons in the NFL, all with the Chiefs, Charles has put up some impressive numbers both with his feet and as a receiver. So far, he’s rushed for 5,097 yards and 23 touchdowns, while also catching 188 passes for 1,619 yards and nine touchdowns.
He continues to add to those numbers, mind you.
The Chiefs are 7-0, and at least offensively, Charles has been a huge reason why. This offense has struggled to score at times, but Charles has been consistently consistent.
He’s carried the ball 135 times in 2013, racking up 561 yards and six touchdowns. He’s also caught 36 passes for 337 yards and two touchdowns.
What makes Charles so good is that he can juke his way to a 90 yard score, take a quick flair route and outrun defenders to open space, or simply just lower his shoulder and pick up tough yards.
This season, Charles has been exceptionally good near the goal line, and we got another glimpse of that this past Sunday against the Texans.
With 2:50 left in the first quarter, the Chiefs were faced with first and goal from the one yard line. Kansas City lined up in a heavy package with two tight ends in the game, a fullback in the backfield in front of Charles, and a wing-back to the left:
Smith motioned the wing back in, and at that point it was rather clear that the Chiefs were going to play some power football:
The play call was a simple stretch-lead play, with the guard, Eric Fisher, pulling out the block the outside linebacker. Anthony Fasano would base block the defensive end and Jon Asamoah’s job was to out-block the defensive tackle. That sets the right side of the line, which then allows Anthony Sherman to block the inside linebacker. That should create an easy running lane for Charles:
Asamoah got his player on the ground, and now you can see how the wall started to form.
All-in-all, the great blocking up front allows Charles to walk untouched into the end zone:
In front of every great running back is a great offensive line, and even though the Chiefs’ offensive line has struggled at times this year, here’s an example of absolute dominance from the big guys up front.
Fisher, who has been much maligned this season (I’ve gotten after him as well) made a tremendous block, and Fasano, back from injury, dominated his defender. Let’s not overlook Sherman either. He’s been opening up running lanes all season long.
At the end of the day, Charles will get the much deserved credit and he gets the touchdown to his name, but this score was a team effort.
The Chiefs have been preaching team all season long. Charles’ touchdown run against the Texans was a direct result of that effort.
Note: Film courtesy of NFL Rewind. Markings are my own.