Chiefs’ rushing attack powering offense in recent weeks

Sep 29, 2014; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium. Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 29, 2014; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium. Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Once is a fluke, but twice or more is generally considered a habit.

The Chiefs’ current two-game winning streak appears to lean to the latter after scoring a combined 75 points since Week 3.

To put the scoring output in perspective, the Chiefs totaled 27 combined points in the two losses. The offense has also amassed 785 total yards in the past two games.

“It’s about those guys and the coaches,” coach Andy Reid said during Tuesday’s media conference call. “Giving them an opportunity to put them in good position to make plays. And the players, I think, have done a heck of a job making them.”

Still, a large reason for the Chiefs’ surge surrounds a running game anchored by Jamaal Charles and with second-year pro Knile Davis in a supporting role.

The Chiefs’ ground attack initially sputtered, gaining 67 yards rushing in Week 1 and 133 yards rushing in Week 2, a game when Charles suffered the ankle injury after just two carries.

But with a healthy duo Monday night, the Chiefs punished the New England Patriots on the ground.

Charles, who made his return to the starting lineup, rushed for 92 yards and scored three total touchdowns (two receiving). Davis gained 107 yards rushing, marking his second straight 100-yard effort.

The Chiefs as a team totaled 207 yards rushing, which comes a week after the offense produced 174 yards rushing against the Miami Dolphins without Charles.

“Coach Reid is a great offensive mind,” Charles said after Monday night’s game. “He knows how to put us in the best situation to help our team win. Our running backs coach, Eric Bieniemy, has been doing a great job coaching us up and getting us ready for the game. I thought coach Reid did a great job tonight switching us in and out.”

Of course, a running game often doesn’t get going without the players on the offensive line. Reid complimented the blockers during Tuesday’s conference call.

“Not that we don’t have plenty of room to improve,” the head coach said, “but I thought they came out and played good, hard-nosed football, which is a good starting point. We got to keep working our fundamentals and get better there. They’ll do that; that’s the way they’re wired.”

Meanwhile, the Chiefs established a balance between Charles and Davis during Monday night’s 41-14 destruction of the Patriots.

And the Patriots weren’t an easy defense to run against considering the team entered Week 4 ranked 11th in the league against the run (104 yards per game).

Charles led the team with 18 carries and Davis chipped in with 16, using one carry for a 48-yard run.

“They are both explosive players,” Reid said. “They are completely different players, but they are both explosive players. And that makes my job easy, just give them the ball.”

NFL observers knew what Charles brought to the table, but the league has now seen what Davis can do in three straight games, two coming while Charles nursed the ankle injury.

Davis currently leads the Chiefs in rushing with 321 yards and three touchdowns on 71 carries. He’s the power to Charles’ finesse.

“I think it gives defenses different looks,” quarterback Alex Smith said of the two running backs Monday night. “I think it keeps both those guys fresh, for sure. We ask a lot of Jamaal, so it’s nice to be able to rest him at times. I think Knile’s play has deserved it, has warranted that.”

Apparently the best is yet to come, as Reid thinks the offense can only get better based on the past two games.

“There’s so much room to improve,” he said. “We can get a lot better there. We just got focus it in and keep working here.”

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