The mystery of Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles getting five carries against the Raiders was so profound, not even head coach Romeo Crennel could solve it.
“Now, that I’m not exactly sure either,” Crennel said when asked about the lack of activity for his best offensive player, nudging offensive coordinator Brian Daboll near enough the bottom of the bus he can smell the tread on the tires.
Daboll defended the limited work, beginning with the way the Raiders defended him.
“Jamaal is a good player . . . and give Oakland credit,’’ Daboll said, via Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star. “They did a nice job of stopping the run. We tried to move it some other ways. Every week is a new week.
“You go as the game develops. You try to run or pass based some on what you think you can do and some on what they’re doing. If they’re doing a good job of stopping the run over and over, we’re going to try and move the ball in another fashion. If we’re running the ball well, we’ll continue to run the ball.’’
That puts it back on Charles, who gained four yards on his five runs, and six yards on three receptions.
More likely, this is a classic case of a coach or coaches making it more complicated than it needs to be.
The Chiefs, who haven’t led for a second in regulation this season, can only be competitive when Charles gets going. In their overtime win over the Saints, he touched it 39 times, including 33 runs.
I’m no statistician, but that seems like a reliable correlation.