Why the Kansas City Chiefs will boast the best running game in the NFL

Charles evades defenders on his way to the end zone.

Charles evades defenders on his way to the end zone.

The Kansas City Chiefs seem to be extremely offensively handicapped at times. There will be times where Jamaal Charles will be facing eight man boxes throughout much of the game, putting all the pressure on Alex Smith to get the ball to one of his receivers.

These eight man boxes only do so much to a guy like Charles who will find ways to make the impossible possible, whether it be getting around the corner and going for 50, or his superb ability to change directions on a dime and find holes no other backs can find.

Charles has been a game changer since the moment he was drafted, now solidifying himself as a top five back. And all this work has been done much like Adrian Peterson’s has, with little to no help from his passing game.

Guys like Marshawn Lynch, LeSean McCoy, Matte Forte, and Eddie Lacy are all big time running backs, no doubt, but there is also no doubt they also all benefit from an above average quarterback and receiving corps that keep defensive secondaries honest and out of the box constantly.

Then there is Charles and Peterson, constantly on par or above those guys with absolutely no help from their quarterbacks and receivers.

With the improvement to the Chiefs tight ends, the high ceiling of guys like A.J. Jenkins and a very solid offensive line, and the obvious second year for Alex Smith and company to get used to the Andy Reid style offense, the potential for Charles and Knile Davis to have more room to run this season is real.

Charles will continue to be a top running back, but with the help of better play from his quarterback and receivers and the emergence of Knile Davis, and the rookie De’Anthony Thomas, the Chiefs look to have a three headed monster in the backfield that can do a number of things.

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We all know what Charles can do, but Davis and Thomas can also come in consistently and make plays. Davis is an all-around running back with a bit more power to his game and can get that tough yard when needed. Thomas can come in as lightning in a bottle, never knowing when he will strike, but knowing he will strike.

If Davis and Thomas can at least get Charles a rest on every few possessions, this will keep Charles healthy and fully loaded for the entire season; look for that to show up late in the season, whereas last year it was clear he was worn down before exiting against the Colts in the playoffs.

The Chiefs’ entire offense ran through Charles last year, they went as far as he could piggy back them, and he took them as far as he could with no help.

With Davis’ finally creeping out of his shell and showing what he can do and the addition of Thomas, not to mention if the passing game can improve (and it can’t get worse so it has to), the Chiefs will have one of the top backfields on and off the paper in the NFL this season.