Football is a team sport but there are still a few teams left in the NFL that seem to ride or die with ONE player. The Minnesota Viking will go as far as Adrian Peterson will carry them, the New England Patriots are a Tom Brady injury away from being the Cleveland Browns and the Kansas City Chiefs are major examples that ONE player is simply not enough to get the job done.
The Chiefs success are tied to Jamaal Charles no matter how you try to swing it. He is arguably one of the best RB’s in the league but at some point the Chiefs must realize that the health gods are not on their side and find a way to win as a unit.
For the last few years it has been a who’s who list of players on the IR. Either it’s Charles going down early or late in the season or a star defensive player like Justin Houston or Eric Berry being hit with personal problems that have kept them of the field thus putting the team’s success in jeopardy.
But it all starts with that ONE player, Charles. He is the spark plug that makes the Chiefs who they are– a dangerous team with great potential. It’s not just his running ability that makes him who he is, he is a dual threat out of the backfield. When he’s on the field the Chiefs are a contender, when he is not they seem to resemble the Dallas Cowboys– a team with other capable players but are not the same with Tony Romo.
Andy Reid must find a way to get more out of his guys in 2016.
Last season was a start as players like Jeremy Maclin shown flashes that he can be reliable with 87 receptions for 1088 yards and 8 TD’s and Travis Kelce is showing sings that there is life after Tony Gonzalez as he finished with 72/875/5. Not to be outdone was the effort put forth Alex Smith with 3486/20/7 but there’s still work to be done. If Reid can somehow find a true #1 receiver to take the pressure off Maclin the offensive playbook could open up more and provide great spacing for Kelce and more running lanes for Charles as defenses will now have to respect the middle of the field.
With Charles being out last season it was a great opportunity for others such as Knile Davis and Charcandrick West to try to make Charles expendable but that was not the case. Each put up solid numbers but combined they still couldn’t touch the production that the Pro Bowler brings to the table., If Charles can manage to stay on the field for at least 15 games the Chiefs will be in prime position to take the AFC West division, but if not then Reid must continue to rely on a cast of players that will continue to look over at the sidelines at Charles and then to the sky asking for help.