Most Feared Running Back Unit in the NFL? One Expert Says Chiefs

The return of Jamaal Charles gives the Chiefs a loaded backfield

When the Kansas City Chiefs signed both Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware to contract extensions this past offseason, the future of the running back position for the Chiefs was solidified.

Last year, the two combined to rush for more than 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in the final 10 games of the regular season after Jamaal Charles went down with a season-ending knee injury in Week 5. 

West and Ware stepped up to the challenge when they were needed, and the team won a franchise-record 11 straight games and its first playoff victory in more than two decades behind their performances.


Now that Charles, the NFL's all-time leader at 5.5 yards per carry and the franchise's all-time leading rusher, has returned, the Chiefs boast a backfield that has caught the attention of one of the best to ever play the position.

LaDainian Tomlinson, who finished his soon-to-be Hall of Fame career after 11 seasons with the San Diego Chargers (2001-09) and New York Jets (2010-11) with 13,684 yards rushing, which is the fifth most in NFL history, is now an analyst for NFL Network.

He believes the Chiefs have the most feared running back group in the NFL.

"You think about it, they've got three horses in that backfield," Tomlinson explained. "Jamaal Charles is still one of the best running backs in the National Football League. You couple him with Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware, oh and don't forget about Alex Smith, who is a running quarterback. You put all those guys together and we're talking about a running back unit that will probably average around 150 yards per game, and that's good enough for tops in the National Football League."

Last year, the Buffalo Bills led the NFL by averaging 152 yards per game on the ground, while the Chiefs finished No. 6 at 127.8.

It's fair to think the return of one of the most dynamic players in the NFL in Charles would bump those numbers up an extra 25 yards per game or so, even if the carries will be split up a bit.

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