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Kansas City Chiefs: Run game woes will cost team sooner or later

Damien Williams #26 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Damien Williams #26 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /
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The Kansas City Chiefs haven’t been good at running the ball this year and sooner or later, that’s going to cost this team a pivotal game.

With only one game remaining in the regular season, the Kansas City Chiefs still have a lot to play for. At best, they could end up as the two seed in the playoffs and at worst, they could end up as the four seed. Right now, however, they’re the three seed, which would mean they’d be hosting the Titans for the Wild Card round.

While the Titans are a team that worries me greatly, another thing that worries me when the playoffs rule around is the lack of run game by the Chiefs. Injuries have been a problem at that position with Damien Williams being nicked up on and off, Darrel Williams missing time lately due to injury, and just recently, Spencer Ware landed on the injured reserve.

Even with Damien Williams in the lineup, the Chiefs haven’t been a force in the run game whatsoever. No particular running back has really stood out through the course of the season and the depth continues to whittle down due to the aforementioned injuries.

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As of now, the Chiefs have Williams, LeSean McCoy, and Darwin Thompson at the position. Williams has appeared in ten games this year, starting five, and has had just one game where he rushed for over 100 yards (week eight vs the Vikings).

McCoy had his most rushing yards in week one against the Jaguars and since then has been held out of games. Shady has had fumbling issues this year and that might be why the Chiefs have gone away from him more recently.

Darwin Thompson hasn’t been super effective in the run game, but he also hasn’t had a ton of opportunities to prove himself. He’ll be used more as a pass catcher because that’s where he’s shown the most skill so far.

Not having a solid run game can hurt teams for a few reasons. The most obvious is that it takes away an element in the play calling and makes the offense become more predictable. It’s not shocking that the Chiefs would rely on Patrick Mahomes to win games for them, but he can’t be throwing it on every single play or defenses will be able to sniff that out easily.

It also hurts teams because running the ball helps you control the clock and chew minutes, which is especially useful at the end of games. If the Chiefs can’t run the ball effectively at the end of games, they won’t be able to chew up time and that could give the opposition another possession, which in turn could give them a chance to win the game in the waning minutes.

The lack of a rushing attack hasn’t been a big deal recently because the Chiefs have been leading by quite a bit near the end of games, but the playoffs are a whole different ball game. It makes me nervous for sure, but hopefully, the run game pulls through and can become a strength for this team.