Rush Brothers & History … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

Come Thanksgiving evening when they flip the switch that turns on the Country Club Plaza Christmas lights, we should have a very clear picture of whether Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones are rushing into NFL history.

Charles and Jones – Kansas City’s Rush Brothers – have been selected to be part of one of the city’s most endearing traditions on Thursday night, November 25th between 6 and 7 o’clock at the intersection of Nichols Road and Wyandotte. They join a big group of former Chiefs players who have had the honor of turning on the Plaza lights over the years: Marcus Allen, Bobby Bell, Trent Green, Willie Lanier and the late Derrick Thomas.

As they head to Oakland for Sunday’s AFC West showdown with the Raiders, Charles and Jones are on a pace to become the most prolific running duo ever in pro football. There have been six teams that had two players rush for more than 1,000 yards in the same season. If Charles and Jones keep up the rate at which they are currently piling up the yards, they will combine for 2,750 yards, or 500 yards more than any other duo.

Charles has run for 666 yards, a 95.14-yard average per game. For 16 games, that would be 1,522 yards. Jones has 538 yards, a 76.36-yard average per game. Over a full regular season, that would be 1,230 yards.

“If we keep winning and make the playoffs – that is all that matters,” Jones said. “The other stuff isn’t that important. We are running to win, not running for records.”

But they are running, and doing it at a pace that may have the Chiefs setting league and team records before it’s all said and done:

  • They currently lead the NFL in rushing with 1,333 yards or 190.4 yards per game. That’s just a hair less than 22 yards a game ahead of the second-team place, the Raiders at 168.5 yards.
  • If they can keep up that pace, they will finish the season with 3,046 rushing yards. The NFL record was set in 1978 by the New England Patriots who finished with 3,165 yards. At No. 2 were the 1973 Buffalo Bills, with 3,088 yards.
  • The Chiefs franchise record is 2,986 yards, set by the 1978 team of Marv Levy, who in his first season as head coach installed the winged-T offense that featured three running backs. That was also the No. 3 best rushing season by a team in league history.
  • They have run for 200+ yards in three consecutive games, matching a similar streak by the ’78 team. No Chiefs team has ever had four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.
  • Charles leads all NFL running backs in average yards per carry at 6.5 yards each time he runs the ball. At 4.6 yards per carry, Jones is averaging above his career average of 4 yards every time he runs.

The mix of Charles and Jones may drive fantasy football owners crazy because these guys have traded the top spot for yards and carries almost game by game. It was Charles in the first, third, fourth and seventh games that had the most yards. It was Jones in the second, fifth and sixth games.

Between the two of them, they have averaged 31.6 carries per game for 172 yards. That’s 90 percent of the Chiefs rushing yardage and 86 percent of the carries.

So what are the chances of them reaching that double 1,000 this season? Look at the factors involved and it would seem like they should be able to get this done.

1.) RUNNING ATTITUDE – What the Chiefs want to do each week is run the ball. It’s always the first choice for offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and head coach Todd Haley. They will continue to see more and more teams use eight-men in the box, maybe even nine at times. If that happens, the pass may become more of an element in setting up the run.

2.) OPPONENTS – the Chiefs face seven opponents in the next nine games. That includes the second best rushing defense in the league right now in San Diego (allowing 83.1 yards per game), and the second worst in Denver (154.6 yards per) who they play twice. Oakland (127.4 yards per) is a two-time opponent and they are ranked 26th in rushing yards allowed. Arizona (143.1 yards per) is No. 29, Seattle (100.6 yards per) is tenth, St. Louis (97.8 yards per) is eighth and Tennessee (105 yards per) is No. 15.

3.) FRESHNESS – Right now, Charles is on pace to run the ball 235 times, with Jones getting the ball 270 times. That’s hardly yeoman’s work when compared to most of the runners at the top of the rushing totals. In the last five seasons when he’s run for more than 1,000 yards each year, he averaged 308 carries per season. So a 270 total for T.J. would be less work than he’s been used too. That’s especially helpful given his 32-year old body and legs. Charles went for 1,120 yards on 190 carries last year. But remember, most of those were crammed into the second half of the season. In the last eight games, he averaged 20 carries a game, so averaging 15 a game over the last nine weeks would not be a lot of extra work for J.C.

4.) THE BLOCKERS – As long as the front five stays healthy, this is going to make it very possible for Charles and Jones to pull this off. Make it front six after the performance against Buffalo last Sunday of rookie Jon Asamoah. His ability to step in at guard for Ryan Lilja is a comfort for the offense and the running game. On top of the O-Line, they are getting good blocking from their tight ends and from the wide receivers.

Here’s the history of the 1,000-yard backs in NFL history:

Season Team Rusher #1 Yards Rusher #2 Yards
1972 Miami Larry Csonka 1,117 Mercury Morris 1,000
1976 Pittsburgh Franco Harris 1,128 Rocky Bleier 1,036
1985 Cleveland Kevin Mack 1,104 Earnest Byner 1,002
2006 Atlanta Warrick Dunn 1,140 Michael Vick 1,039
2008 N.Y. Giants Brandon Jacobs 1,089 Derrick Ward 1,025
2009 Carolina Jonathan Stewart 1,133 DeAngelo Williams 1,117
2010 CHIEFS Jamaal Charles 1,522* Thomas Jones 1,230*

*-projected based on 7- game production.


  • NFL – fined the following players for actions in last weekend’s games: Eagles LB Ernie Sims, $50,000; Steelers LB James Harrison, $20,000; Titans DE Jason Babin, $20,000; 49ers LB Manny Lawson, $12,500; Jaguars S Don Carey, $12,500; 49ers LB Ahmad Brooks, $10,000; Seahawks DE Chris Clemons, $7,500; Raiders MLB Rolando McClain, $7,500; Raiders G Robert Gallery, $7,500; Patriots DL Myron Pryor, $7,500; Patriots LB Gary Guyton, $7,500;
  • BROWNS – announced that Colt McCoy would start at quarterback for the third consecutive game.
  • COLTS – announced that they had moved G Jacques McClendon to TE, changing his number to No. 80 for Sunday’s game against the Eagles.
  • COWBOYS – owner Jerry Jones said Friday that Wade Phillips would finish the season as the team’s head coach.
  • SEAHAWKS – signed QB Zac Robinson off their practice squad.

2 Responses to “Rush Brothers & History … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • November 6, 2010  - el cid says:

    Chiefs may need some bodyguards, lots of disturbances in Oakland over a shooting.

  • November 6, 2010  - Edward says:

    Love the nickname the rush brothers. The o-line deserves alot of credit. I will definately make sure I vote for these to make the pro-bowl

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