January 03, 2011
The explosive Chiefs running back finished with 6.38 yards per rush this season, an average which left him narrowly behind Jim Brown's record of 6.4 yards per carry, set in 1963. (Other ball carriers have finished with higher averages -- Michael Vick(notes) ran for 8.4 yards per attempt in 2006 and 6.8 this season -- but not as running backs.)
That's a difference of .02 yards, .06 feet, 0.72 inches, 1.88 centimeters or 18 millimeters. It's less than the length of the "return" key on your keyboard.
Over the course of the season, Charles would have needed five more total yards on his 230 carries to set the mark. Five yards over a season. That's nothing. As we saw Sunday night in Seattle, the difference between a few yards can be as simple as where the official spots the football. Charles was thisclose to setting the record.
Sure, it's not a flashy one and is only well-known because the legendary Brown had the mark but, regardless, ousting a Hall of Famer from the record books would have been a nice achievement for Charles and the Chiefs offensive line. (It also might have drawn more attention to the fact that Kansas City only handed the ball to the efficient Charles 230 times. I'm all for limiting carries to prevent injury, but someone running for over 6 yards per carry should be getting it more than 14 times a game.)
[Another record: NFL kicker reaches milestone]
As the Kansas City Star pointed out, Charles temporarily had the record during Sunday's loss to the Oakland Raiders, but lost it when he was stuffed for a 1-yard loss with 7:55 remaining. He didn't have another carry for the rest of the afternoon.
Thanks, SB Nation
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