You would think being the defending Super Bowl Champions and hosting a divisional playoff game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday where you are 10 point favorites means the pressure is on you.
That’s not the case according to the leading rusher in Kansas City Chiefs’ franchise history, Jamaal Charles.
Charles who retired prior to the 2019 season says:
“I don’t think they have pressure. With the culture they have with head coach Andy Reid and the players, I don’t think they have pressure. They just have to go out and perform like they always do every week to win ball games—the offense does what they’re supposed to do by putting points on the board and the defense is making plays by stopping the other team so the offense can get back on the field.”
“I feel the pressure was on them (last year) before they won the Super Bowl.”
Charles’ Chiefs Career
Jamaal Charles has always been a fan-favorite with the Chiefs.
He finished with 7,260 yards and 43 TDs while with the team from 2008-2016.
After leaving the Chiefs in 2016, Charles went on to play for the Denver Broncos and the Jacksonville Jaguars before calling it a career.
His best years were with the Chiefs; 5 out of 8 of those seasons Charles rushed for over 1,000 yards.
Heir Apparent To Charles
Of course, Kareem Hunt was expected to be the heir apparent to Jamaal Charles especially after the 2017 season, his rookie year, when he won the NFL rushing title and was named Rookie of the Year.
Since Hunt’s departure in the middle of the 2018 season, there hasn’t been consistency in the running back position for the Chiefs.
LeSean McCoy, a trusted veteran from Andy Reid’s days with the Philadelphia Eagles, was on the roster in 2019.
In 2020, the Chiefs are relying on another rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, a first round draft pick from LSU.
Edwards-Helaire did well until suffering a hip and ankle injury against the New Orleans Saints in Week 15.
He has not played since that game, but there is reason to believe he could be ready to play against the Browns on Sunday.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 13, 2021
Who Does Feel The Pressure?
Normally the pressure is on the defending champions.
From the time Andy Reid hoisted up the Lombardi Trophy for the first time last February, he has been asked about the Chiefs ability to repeat.
I don’t think Jamaal Charles’ theory is correct.
No one (or very few) expected the Browns to be in this position so the expectations for them has been low.
This is one of those questions we will soon have an answer to.
The Browns and the Chiefs face off on Sunday afternoon at 3:05 pm EST.
There is a good chance we’ll see who is bearing the pressure and feeling the nerves early in this game.