No one is big on morale victories in the NFL.
Winning is obviously the most important thing and the Chiefs lost in an upset at home against the Chargers. However, there was at least one silver lining in this loss that Chiefs fans can get excited about and that’s the future of the running back position.
Earlier I wrote about how Damien Williams earned more snaps after his play against the Ravens. Ultimately with Spencer Ware inactive, the Chiefs didn’t have much of a choice. Still, Williams quickly emerged as threat as both a receiver and a runner.
He showed more speed at the running back position than any other Chiefs running back has all season long. His hands were sure as he caught 4-of-4 passes. When he found space he was elusive and able to pick up some extra yards.
Most importantly he showed some toughness when running the ball.
Williams was extremely physical with his carries and didn’t avoid contact. When one of the top rookies of the 2018 season, Derwin James, tried to wrap up Williams ran him over for the first down.
The Chiefs have turned a low-risk free agent investment in Williams into a potential season-saver. After the loss of Hunt and now with Ware dinged up, Williams is looking like a player the Chiefs can rely on to win on the ground and through the air.
He’s done so well that I wouldn’t be shocked if the Chiefs chose to extend him before or after the end of the season.
Damien wasn’t the only Chiefs running back to impress on Thursday. Undrafted rookie Darrel Williams (not to be confused with Damien) saw his most significant action of the season and made a huge impact for the Chiefs.
Williams was in the game on offense for 15 snaps and during those snaps he only saw the ball four times. He turned those four touches into 30 yards and a touchdown though. That’s an average of 7.5 yards per touch. That’s amazing production for so few touches.
His first touchdown also happened to be the one that helped make the 2018 Chiefs the highest scoring team in franchise history.
Williams is one of only two running backs under contract for the Chiefs beyond 2018, so he has a huge opportunity to be the main guy for the team moving forward. With the ability he showed on Thursday against the Chargers, look for him to get some more carries as the season continues. They’ll be valuable repetitions that he can use to build on for the future.
Just weeks ago the Chiefs future at the running back position looked extremely bleak, but now it’s looking like a position of strength for the team. Not just the players they currently have, but the job the scouting department has done at identifying and acquiring talent there. It provides a little hope and optimism moving forward that the Chiefs will be alright there.