Happy Labor Day six days before the Kansas City Chiefs play their first regular season game against the Atlanta Falcons at Arrowhead Stadium.
Drinking my morning coffee I was searching the web. I went to ESPN.com and discovered a poll asking who the best running back in the AFC is. Jamaal Charles wasn't on their list; he would've fallen underneath the category of someone else.
ESPN's top four are Arian Foster, Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew and Ray Rice. Again, Charles wasn't on their list. Charles is sort of the forgotten man this year when it comes to the running back position. I play fantasy football and Charles is going much later than he did in 2011 when he was taken as a top-five pick. This year Charles is being picked as low as the third or fourth round in fantasy drafts.
It reminds me of the season after Priest Holmes injured his hip in 2002. The following season he dropped like a stone, but broke Marshall Faulk's touchdown record with 27 touchdowns. Holmes record was then broken by Shaun Alexander with 28 total touchdowns in 2005 and later broken by LaDainian Tomlinson with 31 total touchdowns in 2006.
This season Charles is being pegged to be a little slower and with Peyton Hillis maybe not as many carries. I'm not worried, Charles will get his 200+ carries, but 230 were all Charles needed to be the second best back behind Foster in 2010.
I'm still astonished that Charles did what he did in 2010 on just 230 carries. Arian Foster carried the ball 327 times but had just 149 yards more rushing than Charles. Charles 6.4 yards per carry average was far ahead of everyone that 2010 season.
Foster led Charles by just 149 yards and needed 97 more carries to do it. Carry for carry Charles was the best running back in 2010; I think Charles can do it again.
By the way…in 2010 Chris Johnson was ranked number four, Jones-Drew fifth and Ray Rice 10th, but in ESPN's poll Charles is now termed "someone else".
What else is cool is Peyton Hillis. In 2010 he was number 11 among running backs. Hillis is just a slight bit older than Charles. Both these guys are young, which means both still have potential to explode like they did in 2010. Think on it, two backs on the same team ranked top 15 in 2010 is pretty amazing.
I'm not sure I've seen a duo like that in Kansas City since Barry Word and Christian Okoye. Definitely gladiator style. Yep it's an old-school, smash mouth, in-your-face and going to run it down your throat way of playing football. Retro, but I think it'll work.
Charles preseason performance suggests counting him out amongst the NFL's best would be a mistake.
If Charles would have had just 25 more carries he would have led the league in rushing in 2010 and still would have had the fewest carries to do it.
Good day, Chiefs fans!