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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Colts' First Priority: Stop Jamaal Charles

By on 1/02/2014 04:15:00 PM

The MVP resides in Denver this season in Peyton Manning, but his runner-up is undoubtedly Kansas City Chiefs' running back Jamaal Charles.

The University of Texas product and world's most complete back has his eyes set on obtaining a playoff victory for his ever-faithful fan base this Saturday as the team travels to Indianapolis to take on the Colts in a wild card matchup. If the Chiefs are to win, Charles must dominate the game. No tricks here, and the Colts have made "public enemy No. 1" their priority this weekend.

Stopping Charles is no easy task. Take away his legs, and he'll burn you as a wide receiver. Charles recently gloated to the football world that he should be the first player selected in the newly instituted Pro Bowl draft because he can do "everything but throw." Well, Jamaal, I have zero evidence to counteract your assumption -- well-spoken, sir.

Like any super star, you can only hope to slow them versus completely eliminating them. Colts' coach Chuck Pagano knows all too well that this is the NFL, and that focusing too much attention on one player can allow you to get beat by the rest; still, the Colts are preparing to make life difficult on the 27-year old back:

“Jamaal Charles. We called him public enemy No. 1,” Pagano said. “First and foremost that’s the guy that you’ve got to take away. They’ve got other skilled athletes we know on the outside in Donnie Avery and Dwayne Bowe and [Dexter] McCluster can beat you. Knile Davis coming in as a change of pace guy running it and the quarterback can certainly beat you. But it all starts with Jamaal. We got to do a great job containing him, try to slow him down.”

The Colts know that defending Charles is a complete team effort, and that they must be on the same page throughout the game if they are to be successful in slowing the dynamite back. While Charles kick starts the offense, quarterback Alex Smith and Bowe are capable of capitalizing on the soft coverage Charles creates as the opposition keeps one eye fixated on #25.

Charles accounted for nearly 2,000-yards from scrimmage this season, finding the end zone a ridiculous 19 times. His 9.9 yard average on 70 receptions is basically unheard of at the running back position.

The Colts are not void of confidence for Saturday's game, recently hammering both Charles and the Chiefs in a 23-7 victory not but two weeks ago. Stop Charles and you give yourself a chance. That's the motto and primary objective for the horseshoes as they prepare for a run at a third Super Bowl.


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