Nick Jacobs wrote last week about keys for the Kansas City Chiefs 2014 season and said that one of them is finding someone to step up if the opponent takes Jamaal Charles away.
Well, the Tennessee Titans on Sunday did take Jamaal out of the game and ... nobody stepped up. At least not enough guys. There were some flashes here and there but no one consistently replaced what Jamaal does for this offense.
So, what the heck happened?
"[The Titans] took away a lot of what we had designed for him," Andy Reid said after the game. "That was one of the reasons."
"We just failed, failed to get him the ball," Alex Smith said. "Absolutely. One of our biggest playmakers, if not the biggest playmaker. Certainly need to get him involved more."
Good job by the Titans, who were simply trying to keep Jamaal under 100 yards. They did even better holding Jamaal to seven carries for 19 yards and four receptions for 15 yards.
Jamaal Charles averaged 22 touches per game last year. He had 11 in this game. Knile Davis had just five snaps in the game so this wasn't a situation where they were resting Jamaal. The Titans did a nice job of containing him -- it seemed those cut back lanes just weren't there -- and the Chiefs fell behind by enough points they were unable to ride Jamaal as much as they wanted to.
Here's the drive-by-drive look at Jamaal's touches:
1st drive: 3 touches
2nd drive: 0 touches
3rd drive: 2 touches
4th drive: 2 touches
5th drive: 0 touches
6th drive: 0 touches (INT)
7th drive: 2 touches
8th drive: 0 touches (INT)
9th drive: 0 touches
10th drive: 1 touches
11th drive: 1 touches
12th drive: 0 touches (INT)
The lesson here for me is that you can't stop going to Jamaal, especially when your top receiver is out of the game. I don't care that the Chiefs were down by three scores -- your best chance of scoring remains with Jamaal as the centerpiece of the offense.
Jamaal's slow start shouldn't concern those of you playing Fanduel or any other fantasy football. Jamaal remains the most important part of the Chiefs offense, and history says he'll get his.
Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $150,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 1's NFL games. It's only $25 to join and first place wins $20,000. Starts Sunday, September 7th at 1pm ET. Here's the link.