After Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals, I fully intended to torch Andy Reid’s use of Jamaal Charles. I wanted to pound my keyboard in anger and come up with data to say that Charles 10 carries and 2 catches tonight were not enough. I wanted to be able to take my frustration out on Andy and blast him by saying this time he could not use the excuse that we were playing from a large deficit. I can’t though. I just can’t. I think Reid could have used him a bit more, but I am not convinced that he could have done much more with him to effect the outcome of this one.
Jamaal missed some time in the first half and had two touchdowns anyway, so there is no need to start there. The Chiefs started the second half with the ball and we’ll start there. During the first drive the Chiefs ran 9 plays. Two of those plays were runs to Charles. Both of those runs were first downs. Great start there. This was followed by two pass plays which resulted in a scramble by Smith and a sack. There is no reason you can’t throw on 1st and 2nd down once in a while, so a major argument can’t be made here and by this time the Chiefs had a 3rd and 14.
On the second drive, the Chiefs ran 7 plays. None of them were to Charles. This is really the only drive that I can argue with. The Chiefs had the ball down on the Arizona 30 and then ran 5 straight pass plays. Still, it makes sense that you are bound to have a drive without your running back now and again.
Drive three consisted of 3 plays. Two of those were to Charles. Next.
The fourth drive had 5 recordable plays. Only one of those plays were to Charles, but there were two other plays to Charles that did not count due to penalty. Unfortunately, the Chiefs quickly got into a 2nd and 18 situation they really never got out of. Not much to complain about here.
Charles got 2 of the 4 plays on the fifth drive and only produced 1 yard. No dice here.
The infamous 6th drive contained 4 plays. None of these were to Charles, but, again, only four plays were run. You could also argue that, at this point, the Chiefs were passing since they were playing from behind, but only down 3 with six minutes left, there was plenty of time for Charles. There was a carry on this drive, but it was given to Charles. I want to argue that Charles should have got the carry here, but the Cardinals looked as surprised as I was that De’Anthony Thomas actually carried the ball and I’ve argued all week that Reid needed to do something different with Thomas than running the cute plays we’re accustomed to. Push.
During the final drive of the game the Chiefs could of course not afford to run the ball with only one timeout and 1:09 on the clock. They did try to involve Charles with a pass play on the drive, but Smith overthrew him.
There are very few moments one could really push an argument that Charles should have had more opportunities. The only thing that I am really left with is that it still seems the Chiefs could involve Charles in the passing game more. He showed what he could do with his touchdown in the first half. In the end, not involving Charles in the game more had little to nothing to do with what happened in this one.