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Jamaal Charles' Becomes Kansas City Chiefs All-Time Leading Rusher

A look back at how Charles became the best running back in Chiefs history, including his Top 5 career rushes

On Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, Jamaal Charles broke Priest Holmes' record and became the Kansas City Chiefs all-time leading rusher.

Charles, who is in his seventh year with the Chiefs after being selected in the third round (No. 73 overall) of the 2008 draft out of the University of Texas, needed just 53 yards against the Chargers to claim the record.

"Since I've been in this league, I've been known as an underdog," Charles said back at training camp after signing an extension with the Chiefs. "I still have to earn my respect, I still have to go out there and perform."

It's that kind of chip on his shoulder that has led Charles to this point in his career. After all, he was the ninth running back selected in the 2008 draft.


Take a look at the top 25 photos of Running Back Jamaal Charles from this season.


From left to right: Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Ray Rice and Kevin Smith.

The Chiefs' selection of Charles in the third round was done with one of the picks they acquired from the Minnesota Vikings in the trade of former defensive end Jared Allen. In hindsight, it was a trade you could say worked out really well for both teams.

The Chiefs walked away with their all-time leading rusher.

During Charles' rookie season back in 2008, he only carried the ball more than seven times in a game once. That was an 18-carry, 106-yard performance in Week 8 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But none of those 18 carries would rank among the best five rushes in Charles' career.

After careful deliberation and comparing dozens of highlight-worthy displays from Charles throughout his seven-year career, these are the five rushes that we've ranked as the best in his career.  

November 15, 2009 @ Oakland – Charles' first career rushing touchdown - 44 yards

We all probably should have realized it after this run. Charles was special.

It was one thing for everyone to know Charles had game-breaking, straight-ahead speed coming out of Texas, but the vision and lateral agility he displayed on this touchdown run showed everyone this rookie was more than just a burner.

The next two rushes both came from the same game, the breakout game of Charles' career.

While Charles was already having a very good 2009 season individually, the Week 17 matchup against the Denver Broncos is hands down the most dominant performance Charles has had in a single game in his career to this point.

(Oakland in 2013 was receiving and therefore inadmissible here; we're talking *rushing)

January 3, 2010 - @ Denver – 25 carries, 259 yards and two touchdowns – 52 yards

This play should just have "it factor" attached to it and shown any time that phrase is used for anyone.

January 3, 2010 - @ Denver – 25 carries, 259 yards and two touchdowns – 56 yards

Decisiveness, burst, speed, power, balance and vision. Charles shows you everything about what makes him so special on this play. 

September 30, 2012 vs. San Diego – Reverses the field – 37 yard touchdown

This play is simply playmaking, defined.

Charles takes the pitch to the right and then reverses the entire field and outraces everyone as he dives into the end zone for the touchdown.

December 8, 2013 @ Washington – Breaking tackle after tackle – 33 yards

Charles starts by juking out No. 37 while simultaneously breaking the tackle of No. 64—impressive.

He maintains his balance in the snow long enough to break three more tackles before finally going down after 33 yards. 

These are just a handful of spectacular plays Charles has made throughout his career, and Chiefs coach Andy Reid said this record is just a reflection of the work Charles has put in and the dedication to his craft, his teammates and this organization.

"It's a great accomplishment," Reid said. "For all those running backs out there, this guy works harder than anybody out there. He spends a lot of time at his profession and it pays off for him."

Reid was asked whether or not Charles is the best running back he's ever coached.

"I've been fortunate to have a bunch of good ones," Reid explained. "I'm not going to sit there and compare him. That's a bad thing to do as a coach, but I'll tell you, he's pretty stinking good and I'm very happy to have him."

When asked about what Charles brings to the table, quarterback Alex Smith had trouble explaining it in a simple manner.

"It's tough to fit in a couple words," Smith said. "He's an extremely, extremely talented guy that works his tail off. You combine those two and good things happen. The guy never comes off the field, never wants to come off the field. We put him in a lot of different situations and he can handle it."

His coaches and teammates laude his work ethic and his determination comes from an underdog mentality, something you often see from the best players in the world no matter what the sport.

But for Charles, it's simple.

"I want to be in the hall of fame when I retire; I want to win a championship. That's what it's all about."

In the meantime, you can now add "all-time leader" to your growing résumé, Mr. Charles.




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