Jets concerned about stopping Chiefs’ Charles
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Jamaal Charles has compiled quite a resume as a running back in the NFL.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ workhorse has the best rushing average (5.52 yards) in the history of the league, even better than Hall of Famer Jim Brown, whose career average was 5.22 yards per carry. That alone says a lot.
Charles is the Chiefs’ all-time leading rusher (6,186 yards) and has surpassed 1,000 yards on the ground in each of the last four seasons. He’s rushed for 200 yards or more in a game three times and has the two longest rushing plays (91 and 86 yards) in Kansas City history.
So as the New York Jets (1-7) face Kansas City (4-3) on Sunday, they have one thing in mind: They have to stop Charles.
”It’s a big concern for us,” defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson said. ”He’s a big threat on the edge and getting into open field. We have to try to contain him, which isn’t easy. We just have to try to stop the run the best way we can and make them a one-dimensional team.”
Charles, who was hurt earlier in the season and appears on the Chiefs’ injury list this week as probable with a back injury, is expected to play.
”I saw the films of him and he doesn’t look hurt to me,” Richardson said. ”He’s running 100 percent to me. If he’s not 100 percent, then he’s the fastest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s real simple. We have to make it very difficult for him to get to the edge. That has been one of our points of emphasis this week.”
Richardson noted the Jets are a proud defensive unit, despite the losing record.
”We take pride in stopping the run,” Richardson said. ”We have to make sure that (Alex) Smith is the one who will beat us with the throw. That’s how we’re going to look at it.”
Charles isn’t even the Chiefs’ leading rusher this season. That distinction belongs to Knile Davis, who has 401 yards to Charles’ 363. Both have scored four touchdowns rushing. The Chiefs have the third-best rushing attack in the league, averaging 140.7 yards per game.
”Davis is also very good,” Richardson said. ”We have to make sure we stop them from having long drives and controlling the ball and the clock.”
Charles has to be the main focus, because he’s a game breaker.
”We just have to knock him back,” defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson said. ”He’s very quick and elusive. As long as we stay in our gaps and knock him back, we’ll be fine. But they also have some other good guys in their offense, so we have to worry about them. But our goal every week is to stop the run first and try to make sure that no balls get thrown over our heads.”
Charles is also a threat out of the backfield. He has 237 receptions in his career for 2,074 yards, both marks among the top five in Chiefs history. Charles has 15 receptions this season for 99 yards and two touchdowns.
”We have our hands full,” Wilkerson said. ”He’s an elusive guy with a lot of talent. We have to make sure our guys are doing their jobs.”
NOTES: Coach Rex Ryan believes that his team is handling itself well despite the poor record. ”I understand we’re 1-7 and no one is happy about that,” Ryan said Friday after practice. ”We’re going to go out and give it our best shot. I feel pretty good about our guys. We’ve got a half of a season in front of us. You want to play, as they say, meaningful games, but they’re all meaningful games in this league. It just might not be where we want them to be right now.” … CB Darrin Walls, who did not practice because of calf and knee issues, is doubtful and not expected to play. QB Geno Smith (shoulder) was listed as questionable, but fully practiced and is expected to be available as Michael Vick’s backup. . Ryan appeared at his post-practice news conference bleeding from his upper lip. ”I’m going to list myself as probable with a cut from shaving,” he joked. . The Jets practiced on grass Friday to prepare for Arrowhead Stadium’s tough sod, but nothing can prepare the Jets for the crowd noise. ”It’s challenging, because you try to explain to them that it’s one of those stadiums that gets really loud,” Ryan said. ”Until you experience it, it’s like, `Yeah, yeah, we get it,’ but until you get out there, it’s like `Wow, it really is.’ I guess we’ll see how it goes. There are some places that are tough to play in and Kansas City is one of them.”
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