KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — On at least three occasions this season, an opposing coach was asked what it takes to stop Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. Each time, they came back with the exact same response. “If you’ve got the answer,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said, “I’m all ears.”
That was before Kansas City played Indianapolis a couple of weeks ago at Arrowhead Stadium, and the Colts didn’t need to do much to stop Charles in a 23-7 victory. The Chiefs only gave him six touches in the second half, something coach Andy Reid lamented following the game.
It stands to reason that Kansas City will at least make the Colts do the job themselves when the teams meet in a wild-card playoff game Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Pagano calls Charles a “game wrecker” and a “home-run hitter.”
Two years after a devastating knee injury threatened his career, and one year after he was the lone bright spot in a blighted season, Charles has put together one of the finest campaigns in the history of a franchise that has had plenty of notable offensive stars.
He’s already run for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns, solid if unspectacular numbers unless you consider that he’s done it while averaging 5 yards per carry. He also has a career-best 70 catches for 693 yards and seven more touchdowns, giving him nearly 2,000 yards from scrimmage.