KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — There is no prescribed number of plays that Chiefs coach Andy Reid would like the ball to end up in the hands of Jamaal Charles, one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL.
One thing Reid does know is that Kansas City would be better off if Charles got the ball more than the six times he did in the second half of Sunday's loss to Indianapolis. Or if he didn't seem to stray from giving him touches at the end of close games.
"Obviously 25 didn't touch the ball much in the second half and that's my responsibility," said Reid, who has a well-worn reputation for favoring the pass over the run. "Within the realm of things, the 28 plays in the second half, we need to give him more of a shot than six touches."
Chiefs fans tend to agree. So do fantasy football owners.
It's not as if Charles didn't have another solid afternoon in a 23-7 loss. He ran for 106 yards and a touchdown, and caught five passes for 38 yards. But when the offense got stuck in the second half, it seemed Reid completely abandoned the run — even though it seemed to be working just fine.
And even though Charles scored five touchdowns the previous week against Oakland, albeit four on receptions.
Charles carried eight times for 62 yards in the first half Sunday, including a 31-yard run for the Chiefs' only touchdown. He had just five carries in the second half, while the Colts were in the midst of scoring 23 straight points, despite averaging nearly 9 yards per carry.
"We were still in it the second half, but we were put in a position where we had to throw the ball a little bit," Reid said. "We had a couple routes that were set up for him and the coverage didn't present itself where we could use him in those, and a few options where the quarterback could keep it, and the front presented itself where he didn't get the touch."
It's true, and that may explain why Charles got so few opportunities against a Colts defense he was gashing. Yet in a pair of losses to Denver and a second-half collapse against San Diego, the Chiefs' opponent this Sunday, the same story seemed to play out.