Matt Cassel cannot handle the load at this point. That much is clear. The Kansas City Chiefs have quickly fallen behind in each of the first two games of the NFL season and Cassel has not exhibited the ability to place the team on his shoulders and carry them to victory. In fact, the opposite has taken place. Thus, the Chiefs must find another answer to make up for the loss of star running back Jamaal Charles for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL from Sunday's loss to the Detroit Lions.
That's not intended to be a knock on Cassel alone, since this mess is not his fault. He's not calling the plays. He's not the one with the woefully uninformed game plan. Note that Cassel has also lost one of his favorite targets in Tony Moeaki before the season started and still has yet to reap the benefits of Jonathan Baldwin on the field. The offensive line has issues as well, so there's plenty of places to lay the blame. But once Charles is gone from a gameplan, it's clear that the team cannot expect Cassel to just rise up and take over.
Instead, the Chiefs are still going to need a solid running game in place, and that means that Thomas Jones is back in the spotlight as he's been for other teams over the last several years. That's not a stretch, even though Jones is clearly a step slower than before. That said, let's not forget Jones 1,402 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns just two seasons ago for the New York Jets. He's carried a team before and it's possible he can do it again.
Not only this but Le'Ron McClain was begging to be a running back in Baltimore and even caused some drama in the process. The Chiefs made it clear when signing McClain that all parties involved had him down as a fullback, but given the situation, it cannot hurt to have a fullback who can actually run with the rock as well.
Dexter McCluster is also a name to mention since the Chiefs began to actually use the potential weapon they have in the former second round choice. McCluster carried 8 times for 51 yards and showed just how dangerous he can be. Certainly he figured in a lot of future schemes now that Charles can no longer be counted on.
In other words, the Chiefs' position of greatest depth at this point seems to be the running back position. Certainly no one would argue that they will not miss Charles. He's their best overall player, at least on offense, so there's no reason to take anything away from him. However, it stands to reason that the Chiefs do have options at the position, which is less than what you can say for their losses at tight end, linebacker and safety. That's a place to start and if you have a foundation, you can build from there. Here's hoping the Chiefs running backs have something left in them to carry the team.
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