Chiefs vs. 49ers: Figuring Out Kansas City's Matchup-Based Running Backs

CLEVELAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Running back Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs by defensive lineman Robaire Smith #98 of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 19 2010 in Cleveland Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

One of the big story lines surrounding the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs two games into the NFL's regular season is the play of the running backs. Specifically, the amount of carries each receives.

Chiefs head coach Todd Haley suggested this week that Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles will see carries based on the matchup.

He said, "We have a clear-cut plan going in of kind of how we want to do things with each guy, but this is a fluid game that there’s a lot of variables involved – we saw some weather in the first game, we saw different conditions in the second game and different situations, so you must be able to adjust in the way you see fit that gives you the best chance to win."

Sounds simple enough and makes sense, right?

Last week, it was probably an advantage to go right at the Cleveland Browns defense because their strength is not up the middle. Utilizing Jones in that particular scenario, looking back on it, makes sense. Does Charles need more carries? I'd say his yards per carry require it. But I see the logic behind Jones' carries last week.

This week around the Chiefs are facing (what I feel is) a better defensive line. DE Justin Smith is one of the guys Haley referenced this week when talking about the 49ers defense then NT Aubrayo Franklin was tendered the franchise tag for a reason.

If the strength if the 49ers defense is up the middle, then that would suggest Jones is not the best back to use. That would mean that the 49ers are more susceptible along the edges and that's where Charles comes in.

Without any insider information to work on here, I'm going to predict we see, for the first time, Charles come out with more carries than Jones. If I'm wrong, then we know this may be less about matchups and more about how Haley feels about Jones.

That's my non-expert opinion. Can you see the logic in what in my prediction?

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