In 2010, the Kansas City Chiefs- led all NFL teams in rushing, averaging 164.2 yards per game. Last year, however, it was a different story. Jamaal Charles tore an ACL in week 2 and was sidelined for the rest of the season, resulting in a huge drop of the team's rushing average to just 118.3 yards per game and record of 7-9.
This season, the Chiefs are looking to return to their old form. Their All-Pro rusher (Jamaal Charles) is back on the field and should be ready for the start of the season. Additionally, they inked Peyton Hillis to a one-year contract, giving K.C. what they hope is a formidable duo in the backfield.
While it's safe to assume their ground attack will be tough to defend, touches remain a question. Both Charles and Hillis are capable of rushing for 1000 yards, but are coming off of injuries. Charles recently stated he's not yet 100 percent physically, but that isn't his biggest problem. "Some of the time the pain is not really there," claimed the 25-year-old, "Sometimes it's just in your head." The mental toll that comes with an injury is always hard to overcome. Charles has yet to play in full-contact situation and needs to rebuild his confidence if he wants to be productive again. If he returns healthy, there’s no question he will put up big numbers.
Hillis, on the other hand, suffered a lesser injury (hamstring) and has been having a good training camp thus far. According to NFL.com, he is in outstanding shape and showing signs of his old self. He will be sharing carries with Charles, but is clearly the healthier of the two and may carry a greater potion of the load earlier in the season and towards the end of games to kill the clock. In 2010, he ran 1177 yards and tallied 11 touchdowns for Cleveland. His hamstring and attitude caused him to have a disappointing season last year, yet he appears to have turned a corner this summer. He is reunited with Brian Daboll, his offensive coordinator in 2010, and should see more success.
There is a good chance the two backs can both be productive. The Chiefs' success in 2010 was the result of Charles and Thomas Jones playing well together, and they were often referred to as "Thunder and Lightening." The two combined for 534 carries and dominated the league. There have only been 6 teams in NFL history to have two 1000-yard rushers in one season, but Kansas City may very well have the 7th.
Charles' injury, however, will most likely limit his touches early in the season and lead to Hillis carrying a majority of the load. However, if he can stay healthy as the season progresses, Charles will most likely take over as the lead rusher. With this in mind, Hillis might be a fantasy draft-day steal then sell-high, while Charles could be a great buy-low player.
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Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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