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Spelling Jamaal Charles: K-N-I-L-E


Two heads are better than one. You can never have too much of a good thing. Teamwork makes the dream work. I think all of these idioms speak to the unique situation the Kansas City Chiefs have in their offensive backfield. The presence of second-year man Knile Davis makes the expansion of this offense possible. I’m aware that he’s just a backup, but given the number of touches Jamaal Charles had in 2013 (329), they’re going to need another horse.

Last year it took time for Alex Smith and Kansas City’s passing offense to find its rhythm. Jamaal Charles became a familiar hero because of it. For a significant part of the season, he was the Chiefs’ offense. Charles scored 19 of the team’s 41 offensive touchdowns. In case you’re scoring at home, that’s 46%. The Chiefs could stand a bigger offensive contribution from Davis in 2014. It would certainly keep Charles’ legs fresher and minimize wear-and-tear on his 200-pound frame.

The biggest knocks on Knile Davis coming out of college were his penchant for injury and inability to secure the football. As expected, his offensive opportunities were limited the first half of the year. The former Razorback had just 20 touches in the 9 games before the bye week. He stayed healthy and fumbled only once over that stretch. The back half of the season he was rewarded with three times as many touches (61). Davis made good on those chances, amassing over 240 yards of total offense and 4 touchdowns. Here’s what Reid had to say about his 2014 plans for Davis:

"Knile was a rookie and he was learning every week and getting better every week. As the season went on we were able to give him the ball a little bit more. Coming into this season we’ll be able to mix it up a little bit better than what we did early in the season last year."

Davis is also key for this offense because injuries happen in the National Football League. Kansas City’s been fortunate the past two years. Since returning from the ACL injury that ended his 2011 season, Jamaal Charles has missed only two starts. The team and all of Chiefs Kingdom hope that trend will continue in 2014, but there’s simply no good way to know that. NFL players are always one hit or false step away from the injured/reserve list. Davis’ fractured fibula in the postseason matchup with the Colts can testify to that. The good news is, his leg didn’t require surgery and he’s been a full participant in the offseason program thus far.

The most inspired performance of his rookie season came in the Chiefs’ playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Davis was thrust into the lights on the biggest stage of his young career when a first quarter injury sidelined Jamaal Charles. Despite his inexperience, he went on to post 100 yards from scrimmage and 2 touchdowns. It was as convincing a rookie performance as the Chiefs may have had in 2013. For him to have answered the bell, in such an important game, suggests he can be effective for this football team when they need him the most.

With an offseason to heal and mature in this offense, it’s safe to expect Davis to play a bigger role in 2014. When healthy, he and Charles could make for one of the best 1-2 punches in the NFL. The Kingdom’s chomping at the bit for offensive sets that have both he and Charles in the backfield at the same time. Having them on the field simultaneously creates a nightmare scenario for defensive coordinators. Each back has game-breaking speed and the ability to catch the football out of the backfield. Reid can create mismatches that the Chiefs’ offense can exploit and keep defenses honest with.

The sky’s the limit for young Knile Davis. He’s flanking one of the league’s best runningbacks and boasts a skillset that may soon enter him into that conversation. Time will tell if he can continue to ward off his fumbling issues and nagging injuries. If he can, Kansas City’s offense has one more weapon in its arsenal. With a tougher schedule ahead, they’ll need all the help they can get.

What say you? Will Knile Davis make a bigger contribution to the Chiefs’ offense in 2014? Can he become an even better complement to Jamaal Charles? Will Andy Reid call his number more often this season? Use the comment section below to have your take. As always, we appreciate your readership and support.

Until next time, Addicts!