I know I’m going to be burned at the stake for this. But here goes.
If you head over to nfl.com you can get a play by play summary in pdf format here.
Looking at the stats for Charles, he had 11 carries for 49 yards. Good average. But his long carry of the day was a 20 yard run from our own 7 yard line with less than a minute to go in the 2nd quarter coming up on halftime against a CLE defense that was playing deep pass prevent. They weren’t at all concerned with giving up a 20 yard run, it was a gimme.
That leaves 10 carries for 29 yards. A 2.9 average.
Stay tuned for an atypical AP'er view on this after the jump.
Now this will be the really hard part for a lot of AP’ers. For a moment, pretend the world doesn’t revolve around us (the fans and the Chiefs). CLE did a great job of planning to contain Charles. And they executed that part of their defense well. Holding someone as explosive as Jamaal Charles to 2.9 yards per carry sans the one end of half ‘gimme’ is good game planning and good execution. Jamaal wasn’t going to win this game for us. They were ready for him.
The Browns aren't an intramural rec-league team. They're a team of professional coaches and professional players. They gameplan and review tape and make adjustments just like anyone else in the league. And don't forget that they have a history of playing very tough against our Chiefs. We were 2-7-1 at the Dog Pound heading into this game.
Haley and Weis used the right players for the right situations here.
Thomas Jones was consistently moving the ball, and averaged 3.8 yards / carry. He was helping keep our offense on pace for what should be very reasonable 3rd downs to try to convert.
Now our success in converting those 3rd downs is another matter altogether, and that’s something I’d bet the farm that Haley, Weis and the offense are going to be working diligently on in practice getting ready for SF and on into the bye week. But Thomas Jones was one of the more consistent pieces of our offense yesterday.
Truth be told, Jamaal is probably tied for "TRSChief's favorite player on offense" along with Dex. I believe we'll see a lot more of both of these guys as the season goes along. They're both so exciting to watch, it's hard to not want them to handle the ball on every snap. But Haley has said all along that they're looking for consistency. Be the same player every week. Thomas Jones was that staple of consistency for the role we needed him in this time.
Much like PIT homed in on Chris Johnson this weekend and contained him, so too did CLE work very hard at minimizing Charle’s ability to hurt them. They came out saying “we’re going to key in on your biggest offensive threat and try to shut him down, and make you beat us in other ways.” They did. And it turns out, we did.
It really does appear, to me, to be that simple.