In the Kansas City Chiefs' 42-30 Week 4 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the team ran for a whopping 200 yards on 32 carries. That 6.3 yards per carry average was exquisite and served as a major reason why the team's offense was so dynamic overall.
The main contributor to the Chiefs' rushing total was second-year running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. While 2020 first-round pick had a rough start to the season, he's now recorded back-to-back games with at least 100 rushing yards. Last week against the Chargers, he recorded exactly 100 on 17 carries. This week, he rushed for 102 yards on just 14 totes (a 7.3 YPC average). After the game, Edwards-Helaire spoke about his recent hot streak and why he's focused on just helping the team.
"Everybody is going to have their games, everybody is going to have their ups," Edwards-Helaire said. "When your number is called, you're going to perform, and it's just that simple. I never just look down upon myself as far as a performance. If I go out and only get a couple of carries ... whatever I had to do that week, I was doing whatever the team needed. It's not a pointing fingers thing for me so I go out, handle my job and do what I'm supposed to do."
The first few weeks of the 2021 campaign were difficult for Edwards-Helaire, as he fumbled in games two and three. The first one, in particular, was a very untimely turnover that led to the Baltimore Ravens winning the Week 2 contest. A lot of criticism was thrown in Edwards-Helaire's direction, but he kept his head down and remained locked in with the task at hand in mind.
"I've been dealing with it since I've been playing ball," Edwards-Helaire said of negativity. "It's more publicly seen as far as now, but I let everybody else kind of waste their time while I go to work. You can say whatever comments and do all the unnecessary things, but I've still got to go do my job, execute, go in the building and keep moving."
If you're doing the math at home, you know that the Chiefs had 98 non-Edwards-Helaire rushing yards on Sunday. 42 of those came from Darrel Williams, who had 10 carries and also punched the ball into the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes amassed 26 rushing yards, wideout Mecole Hardman had 25 and fullback Michael Burton added five of his own. Everyone got in on picking up tough yards on the ground, and Edwards-Helaire said the team had emphasized that as of late.
"We talk about it," Edwards-Helaire said. "It's one of those things that we want to, obviously, show we can do. And we've shown it last year, but we needed to incorporate it this year and show that we can run the ball and not just run the ball, but run the ball effectively. Not only did we run the ball effectively, but we did it with multiple backs, and I feel like that's a perk."
Establishing the run may not excite anyone, but it should. Being able to run effectively — and in the right situations — can lead to a productive play-action passing game as defenders creep up a bit more. The Chiefs had great success running the ball on Sunday and if that continues, a well-balanced plan of attack by Andy Reid's unit could keep opposing defenses honest for the rest of the season. That's a win, regardless of who's picking up the yardage.