Last night was a disappointing one for the Kansas City Chiefs, as they fell to 11-3 and into a first-place tie with the Los Angeles Chargers for an AFC West division that has been theirs for the last two-plus seasons. The Chiefs are still in the driver’s seat for the top seed in the AFC, with the quickest path being winning their next two games, in Seattle and at home against Oakland.
Despite their success, adversity and bad injury luck has not avoided them this year. On Thursday night they were down to their third and fourth running backs in Damien Williams and Darrel Williams. However, this did not slow the league’s premier offense in any discernable way, as the former Williams picked up 49 yards on 10 carries (16 after contact) while the latter picked up 13 yards on two carries. Damien scored two touchdowns on the ground, while Darrel scored one through the air.
With star cornerback Kendall Fuller looking questionable for the rest of the season with a wrist injury, there will be more pressure on Patrick Mahomes (our highest player in terms of wins above replacement) and the Chiefs offense to produce as they have for the entire season. Receiver Sammy Watkins returning should help, as should the possibility of guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif coming off of IR to help solidify the offensive line. In any set of the events, having a weapon in Damien Williams in the passing game, where running backs produce their biggest bang for the buck, will help quite a bit. In the last three weeks, Williams has averaged 1.73 yards per route run, good for ninth at the position over that span.
We’ve said this in numerous places this season, but the running back position is one where almost anyone can thrive if put in the right spot. If the last three weeks are any indication, the Kansas City Chiefs should be just fine there, as they look to contend for their first Super Bowl title since Super Bowl IV.