Jamaal Charles, a Port Arthur native and former Texas Longhorn made his much anticipated return from an ACL injury for the Chiefs on Sunday Night in Pittsburgh. Even though Charles was limited on the field, it was something for Kansas City fans to be excited about on what would be the worst lost in the Andy Reid era.
Football fans are accustomed to seeing Charles run rampant on defenses, but the Steelers were determined to change that after the beat down they received last week in Philly. The only person who seemed to be able to move the ball was Alex Smith, with a career high 50 passing attempts despite the score line. This game was over early given that Big Ben and the Pittsburgh offense converted three of their first six offensive snaps into touchdowns, the shutout was still on at the start of the fourth quarter.
Charles was limited to just 2 carries for only 7 yards on the night, but given the circumstances we may let this one slide. It’s hard to imagine that the Steelers would drop 2 in a row, especially with Terrible Towels flying around everywhere. Besides the swarming defense, it is hard to expect too much out of a guy who is playing in his first live action since going down with a knee injury last season.
Regardless of the abysmal numbers, the Chiefs are extremely excited to get Charles back in the mix in the backfield. Over the course of his 9-year career, Charles has become one of the most explosive backs in the game. Given that his knee will hold up for the duration of the season, the Chiefs expect Charles to compliment the running game alongside Spencer Ware.
In a division where Denver and Oakland seem to already be on track, the Chiefs need to pick up the slack before they become buried in the AFC West. Charles and the running game are going to be a key component to jump-starting the offense. Besides a huge matchup next week in Oakland, the schedule is somewhat favorable over the next few weeks with games against the Saints, Colts and Jags. If Kansas City can come out of the stretch 3-1 and have Charles make big strides in returning to his former self, the Chiefs will be looking at a pretty good situation heading into the back half of the season.