Chiefs have a running back problem, but a good one
When thinking about the future of the running back position, there are a few things that have to be on the mind of Chiefs GM John Dorsey: the age of Charles (29) and his contract situation. No. 25 is no doubt a tremendously talented athlete and still a top five or 10 running back in the league, but he is getting up there in age and is coming off his second ACL injury.
Looking ahead, Charles is a free agent in 2018. A lot can happen between now and then, but let’s say that the Chiefs decide to part ways with Charles after this season or next. Wouldn’t it be nice if the running back that eventually replaces Charles is familiar with the Chiefs offensive system? See: Ware and Charcandrick West.
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That brings me to the third realistic option that Reid and the staff could employ: utilize all three running backs as they did in Oakland. Ware carried the ball 24 times for 131 yards. Charles ran the ball nine times for 33 yards and West three times for 19 yards. All three scored an individual touchdown.
The Chiefs’ identity throughout the rest of 2016 will be the running game. We thought that maybe Alex Smith could take a leap this year and become a next-level quarterback, but after five games it doesn’t look like that will happen.
If Reid and the coaching staff used a similar strategy to the one they used Sunday, most would agree that the carries between Charles and Ware should be flipped. But the argument could be made the Ware deserves a healthy amount of carries to compliment Charles.
Obviously game plans evolve throughout the course of an individual game. If the Chiefs get behind early, as they did in Pittsburgh, there won’t be much of a rushing attack. That doesn’t mean the Chiefs can’t plan to pound the ball on the ground.
Four out of the five next opponents for the Chiefs are giving up at least an average of 100 rushing yards per game. The opportunity is there for the team to build on their momentum that they’ve created in the running game on offense.
After the trade Tuesday with Green Bay that sent Knile Davis packing up north, the Chiefs have three solid running backs to rely on. At any moment, they can be called upon to make a play.
Until Charles regains full strength, expect to see an attack that involves healthy dosages of all three running backs. But once we see Charles at 100 percent, it remains to be seen how the Chiefs will handle the problem in the backfield.
But hey, at least it’s a good problem.
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