Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in Sunday’s 23-20 win against the San Diego Chargers.
But a second-quarter rushing attempt on a 16-yard touchdown run carried significance for the seventh-year pro.
Charles achieved the 53 yards rushing needed to become the Chiefs’ all-time leading career rusher, breaking the previous mark of 6,070 yards rushing previously held by Priest Holmes.
“I know the play where it happened,” Charles told reporters during a postgame media session. “It was a great feeling and it felt like a special moment because the man above gave me the strength and I thank God for that moment.”
While Charles knew when the team record was broken, his head coach didn’t. But that didn’t stop Andy Reid from feeling good for his star running back.
“I didn’t realize it at the time,” Reid told reporters after the game, “but I’m happy for him. Well deserved. Jamaal is a heck of a player.”
Charles now has 6,113 yards rushing and is the third player in Chiefs history to achieve 6,000 yards rushing or more, a trio that includes Charles, Holmes and Larry Johnson (6,015).
But even with the accomplishment, Charles appeared relieved to get it over with.
“I was tired of getting jinxed and everybody was talking about it,” he said, “but I wasn’t even worrying about the record I just wanted to go out there and play football.
“I want to thank my teammates for helping me get to that goal today and also thank the coaches, the organization and the man above because he gave me the blessing to go out there and to do my job today.”
The scoring run when the record fell was vintage Charles.
He started along the right sideline, made a cut to the left across the grain and raced to the end zone where he leaped across the goal line at the same time former teammate, current Chargers cornerback Brandon Flowers delivered a hit.
Charles immediately jumped up and raced to the Chiefs’ sidelines.
With the team record checked off, the Chiefs’ all-time leading career rusher has his sights on bigger goals.
“I’m happy to be the leading rusher,” Charles said, “but I want a ring and that’s what I want more than anything. I don’t want to be known just for my individual awards. I want to be known as a team player as well.”