Jamaal Charles vs. Adrian Peterson: A Question To Ponder


Kansas City Chiefs fans know they have a superstar in Jamaal Charles, who is one the best running backs in all of the league. What everyone in the NFL might not know is how Charles may be THE best running back in the league.

538, an ESPN subsite that is run my stats guru Nate Silver, recently ran a series of NFL previews. In the AFC West preview they had some interesting numbers about Jamaal Charles in comparison to Adrian Peterson.

First a chart:

Now some words:

"Charles is also more of a threat to catch passes, wrangling in 222 receptions for 1,975 yards and 14 touchdowns in 80 games, compared to Peterson’s 206 catches, 1,697 yards and 5 TDs in 103 games. When throwing to Charles, QBs have a passer rating of 101.1, compared to 77.3 normally. QBs have a passer rating of 89.7 when targeting Peterson, versus 80.6 normally.In other words, not only does Charles catch more passes, but targeting him has led to better outcomes for worse quarterbacks. Also, he has had worse quarterbacks! This makes his performance less likely to be a product of his team’s offense."

In short: Jamaal Charles is really damn good.

We’ve heard over and over again from talking heads about how great players make the other players around them better. Jamaal Charles is one of those players who makes those around him better. With better quarterback play and some more weapons on offense, who know what a healthy Charles can do in this offense.