Jamaal Charles scored early and often against the Oakland Raiders, finishing with five touchdowns and 195 yards receiving in leading his team to a 56-31 victory.
Charles was nearly unstoppable on the screen pass, which the Kansas City Chiefs used to carve the Raiders defense. It took Charles only 22 seconds to find the endzone, taking a pass 49 yards for a touchdown.
After Oakland kicked a 34-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 7-3, Jamaal Charles struck again. This time he took a pass from Alex Smith 39 yards to another score.
Charles wasn’t done yet — not even close. After Rashard Jennings scored to cut the Chiefs lead to 21-10, Charles scored two more touchdowns, including a 1-yard run and a 16-yard catch from Smith. He added another score in the third quarter on a 71-yard catch and run.
The five touchdowns for Jamaal Charles were the most from a player in a single game since 2002, and one away from the all-time record. Three players have scored six touchdowns in a game before — Ernie Nevers in 1929, Dub Jones in 1951, and Gale Sayers in 1965.
The win allowed the Chiefs to become just the fourth team ever to make the playoffs after losing at least 14 games the previous year. Kansas City is tied with the Denver Broncos atop the AFC West at 11-3, but the Chiefs would need some help to win the division after Denver won both contests between the teams.
The offensive explosion from Jamaal Charles came after concerns that he was handling too much of the Chiefs workload. With few playmakers outside of Dwayne Bowe, Charles accounts for a large bulk of the team’s offense.
Despite concerns that he may not be able to keep up the pace, Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said the team plans on continuing to feed Jamaal Charles the ball as the season goes on.
“He’s a guy who steadily wants a little more each week, a little more responsibility, and the more he gets comfortable in our system and what we’re asking him to do, we’ll put a little more on his plate,” Pederson said, via the Kansas City Star. “He’s so explosive, and we want to be able to use him in that fashion and create matchups in our favor.”
Aside from his five touchdowns against the Raiders, Jamaal Charles also had 215 total yards from scrimmage.