The Lack of Production
The fumble could be forgiven and the ghost of Kareem would have gone away by now if Edwards-Helaire had put up similar stats. What’s weird is that the Chiefs haven’t allowed CEH to do just that.
Coming out of the draft, Edwards-Helaire was hailed as the sort of “unfair acquisition” of the Chiefs to be able to add a back with his well-rounded skill set to the mix. The Chiefs praised his pass-catching prowess and dynamism as a runner. While some fans hated the first-round investment, most of Chiefs Kingdom was at least excited to get a Kareem-like presence in the backfield once again.
Fast forward through two games into his second season and Edwards-Helaire hasn’t remotely measured up to expectations. They might be unfair ones (see the ghost of Kareem), but the Chiefs own brass didn’t help. For a player who is supposedly able to catch the ball so well, they feed him as often as a pet snake.
Edwards-Helaire averaged a decent enough 85 yards/game during his rookie season. That’s a nice foundation on which he can build, even if it flies lower in the sky than the heights Chiefs Kingdom originally wanted to see from him. However this year, the Chiefs have targeted him only 3 times in the passing game and his yards/game has dropped to 59. He’s also averaging an anemic 3.3 yards/carry.
That’s a small sample size, to be sure, but all eyes are on Edwards-Helaire moving forward to improve his production and fast. The Chiefs are guilty of pouring gas on the flame with their allocation of resources and hype of the player. Now they’ve gotta give him a chance to flourish.
As for Edwards-Helaire, he has some significant work to do as well, but it’s not on the field. He likely has the talent and instincts to just let it come naturally there. Instead, he’s going to have to overcome the mental challenges of overwhelming expectations and fear of making another mistake. Some aspects of this might not be fair, but it’s the cards he’s been given.