Even with Matt Cassel's four touchdowns, Dwayne Bowe's two touchdowns and Steve Breaston's pair of touchdowns, the surprise of the game for the Kansas City Chiefs contest against the Indianapolis Colts was Jackie Battle.
Last week, Battle had a couple of key carries to help close out the game against the Minnesota Vikings leading to some thinking that his role could expand this week against the Colts. To say his role expanded would be a total understatement.
Battle rushed 19 times for 119 yards -- both career highs (by quite a bit).
There's really no reason Battle should've been contributing on the Chiefs (and I don't mean that in a bad way). They had Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster ahead of him on the depth chart. You can even add Le'Ron McClain in there. Despite all that, he's arguably biggest bright spot right now in the Chiefs backfield.
And when you have a game like Battle did in Indy, you have your quarterback saying things like this about you:
"I'm so happy for Jackie," Matt Cassel said (video via KCChiefs.com). "He's a guy that never complains, just goes out and works hard. He'll do whatever you ask him to do. He does special teams. He's a guy that just grinds and grinds and grinds and as you can see when he gets his opportunities, he can play. He continues to show up week in and week out.
Check out Adam Teicher's story at the KC Star for quotes from Battle himself.
I also liked this line from Cassel: "There's never a time where I've seen him get hit where he doesn't fall forward." We've heard Haley talk about that, especially with the receivers. If you just fall forward when you go down, you can add a couple yards to every play.
Battle might be the biggest surprise of the Chiefs' 2011 season, to be honest. He went on IR in 2009 with little fanfare but there were plenty of nervous Chiefs fans when he was slow to get up on the final offensive play (that mattered) for KC today. That shows you the importance of what he did.
So the question now is what's next. Where does Battle go from here? Was this a one-game wonder or does he see himself as a significant part of the Chiefs offense from here on out?