We've written a lot about Jamaal Charles. We are a Kansas City Chiefs blog after all. I went back and rounded up some of my recent favorites about Jamaal. Click the link to read the whole thing. The top one from MNChiefsfan is probably my favorite...
Then someone compared Melvin Gordon to Jamaal Charles, and something snapped inside me. Look, Gordon may well turn out to be a fantastic pro. This has nothing to do with him. But every year, some new fast guy (or two, or three) draws comparisons to Jamaal Charles. His entire career he's been grouped with smaller, faster backs as though they're roughly the same player (starting with Chris Johnson whenever everyone thought Charles was a poor man's Chris Johnson. How amusing). I've had it.
Despite all these fancy stats, there's one basic stat that encapsulates so much of a player. For a running back, that's average yards per carry. Simply, how many yards do you pick up when you run the ball? So basic. We can now say that Jamaal Charles is better at picking up yards than any running back in NFL history. On Sunday, Jamaal Charles passed 750 career carries, qualifying him for the NFL record on average yards per carry.
I don't know if Jamaal Charles will stay healthy for another 5 -8 years and "earn" a spot on the Hall of Fame. I don't know what'll happen next week. And I certainly don't know what to take away from a game in which I fully expected us to get killed and instead turned into a clinic by our defense. But I DO know that I'm privileged, week in and week out, to see one of the greatest runners I've ever seen on a football field. Take it in. Remember it. Because runners like this guy are once in a generation, and who knows how long we'll get to enjoy witnessing greatness.
Jamaal Charles is the greatest football player I’ve ever seen in person. I do not have numbers to back that statement up. I have no in-depth analysis as to what defines greatness. I cannot present you with a rational argument as to why watching Charles play the game of football was just BETTER than watching anyone else (frankly this is true on television as well as live). I find myself helpless to explain the... feeling which leads me to this conclusion. All I know is that it’s truth. Absolute truth.
Here's where, yet again, we see why Charles is special. He sees the field better than nearly any other RB in the league and, in this case, recognizes that the outside presents the best opportunity for a touchdown. But he doesn't just immediately head toward the sideline. He jukes as though he's about to take the inside option, forcing Harris to commit to running up the field as opposed to staying outside. And because he's Jamaal Charles, that juke doesn't even remotely slow him down.
Every once in a while we need a reminder that Jamaal Charles is incredible. Not only is one of the great Kansas City Chiefs players of all time, he’s one of the best players in NFL history. Read these tweets to see why, and remember that he played several years with Matt Cassel.
He's that special. His speed, his balance, his vision ... it combines to a package that's almost incomprehensible. But that alone isn't it. Charles simply looks DIFFERENT from other players when he runs. It literally looks like he's gliding. And not "literally" in the non-literal, stupid way people use it. But it LITERALLY looks like Charles is gliding while everyone else is running.
It wasn't so long ago that Jamaal Charles had his best game ever as a professional. In fact, it's not even close between his best and second best. On this particular day, December 15, 2013, Charles racked up an incredible five total touchdowns. It was two more than he'd ever had before in a game and he's never come near the same feat since then. Even more amazing is the fact that Charles only had 20 rushing yards on the day with a 2.5 yards/carry average.