View Full Version : Chiefs Babb: Chiefs’ ground game is bright spot in loss

Tribal Warfare
10-18-2010, 02:29 AM
Chiefs’ ground game is bright spot in loss (http://www.kansascity.com/2010/10/17/2322919/chiefs-ground-game-is-bright-spot.html)
The Kansas City Star

HOUSTON | There wasn’t much relief Sunday in the statistics line, and that’s not uncommon. Good things are easily forgotten when things happen like they did at Reliant Stadium.

“It hurt,” Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles said after the Houston Texans’ 35-31 comeback victory. “Really hurt.”

But by the time Kansas City awakens this morning, with the hangover of Sunday’s disappointment beginning to subside, one thought is likely to emerge: The Chiefs’ rushing offense is one of the league’s best, and if it continues being as effective as it was Sunday — loss or not — these feelings won’t be as common as they used to be.

Charles didn’t have much more to say in the locker room, and coach Todd Haley said there were plenty of players who were in pain after the Chiefs’ second loss. Charles and Thomas Jones said enough, though, with their play against Houston’s fifth-ranked rushing defense. Jones rushed for 100 yards in 19 carries, and Charles had 93 yards in 16 carries.

On Jones’ 11-yard touchdown, he went straight and to the right before jumping over the goal line to celebrate. Charles didn’t score, but he stumbled for about 5 extra yards in the third quarter, and in the fourth quarter he fought off a cluster of defenders, cutting to his right, to turn a certain loss into a gain of 7 yards.

Performances like the one Sunday were surely what the Chiefs dreamed of when they signed Jones this last offseason to complement Charles.

“When I have my opportunities,” Jones said. “I try to take advantage of it. I’m sure Jamaal thinks the same way.”

Jones said Sunday that players felt comfortable with the game plan all week, saying it was similar to the one Kansas City used against Indianapolis a week earlier. This time, he said, the Chiefs executed the plays with more efficiency. And like a good running back always does, Jones gave credit to the offensive line.

“Very underrated,” he said about Kansas City’s line, saying it’s one of the league’s best. “We have some veteran guys and young guys. It’s a nice mix to have great chemistry, and we’re starting to kind of get in a zone as far as the backs knowing how they’re blocking.

“It just takes a couple of weeks of playing with those guys to get in that mind-set.”

Things just worked Sunday on offense, and if not for a rare lapse by the Chiefs’ defense, Kansas City might be still celebrating a victory this morning instead of wondering how 31 points wasn’t enough.

Haley might be among those with the most regrets and questions, but he admitted Sunday that he was glad to see the Chiefs rush for 228 yards, an average of 6 yards per carry, against a defense that had allowed an average of 79.6 rushing yards in its previous five games.

“I saw a lot of blocks and guys working hard to make those runs go,” he said. “The backs are part of that.

“What I feel good about is, this was a good defense that we were facing, and they were especially good against the run. We were successful and efficient running the ball most of the day; we just needed a few more.”

As time passed Sunday afternoon in the Chiefs’ locker room, the mood already began to lift. Players were talking about returning to Kansas City and Arrowhead Stadium, where they’ll play their next two games.

Yes, things could have been better Sunday in Houston. They could have been much worse, too. And players said that, disappointing as the loss was, there was proof that Kansas City is, after so many years of pain, on the verge of experiencing better days.

“We made some plays on offense, but when you lose the game, it doesn’t matter,” Jones said. “You still lost. That’s the point of making those plays: to help your team win. It was a tough loss. But that’s part of the game.

“We’ll bounce back.”