Greatness On The Road  

Marriott  

Jamaal Charles helps Chiefs sprint past Saints

  • By Jim Reineking NFL.com
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It takes a lot to win on the road in the NFL, especially when your team is forced to mount the largest comeback for a victory in team history.

Greatest on the road ...

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs were up against it in New Orleans. Not only had they started the season 0-2, but they were down 18 points to another team seeking its first win of the young season. Facing a 24-6 third-quarter deficit following a third touchdown pass from Drew Brees, the Chiefs got a momentum-altering play at the most crucial time from one of the game's best breakaway running backs. Charles scampered 91 yards for a game-changing score that set the Chiefs on a course for the biggest comeback for a win in their 52-year history.

Charles' 91-yard run was also the longest rushing touchdown in Chiefs history, and Kansas City's second-longest offensive touchdown ever (only beaten by a 99-yard touchdown reception by Marc Boerigter in 2002). Charles finished the game with staggering 233 yards rushing on 33 carries. That effort helped the Chiefs outgain the Saints, 510 to 288 yards.

The monster game by Charles helped lift the Chiefs to an essential overtime victory. The performance also was encouraging as far as Charles' health is concerned. Charles missed nearly the entire 2011 season following an ACL injury suffered in Week 2.

Also considered:

Andre Brown, New York Giants

Brown, along with wide receiver Ramses Barden, was thrust into action due to injuries to Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks. With the pregame focus on Cam Newton making his first prime-time appearance, Brown and Barden stole the show when the game was on.

Brown's journey to "Thursday Night Football" glory was a long one. He was waived by five different teams, including the Carolina Panthers, since coming into the league as a fourth-round draft pick in 2009. Inspired by his release from the Panthers, Brown took advantage of the opportunity to let Carolina know what it let go. Brown rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns as the Giants went on to obliterate the not-quite-ready-for-prime-time Panthers, 36-7. Brown's effort was the first 100-yard rushing game for a first-time Giants starter since Joe Montgomery in 1999.

Barden's game was also monumental. The fourth-year receiver entered Thursday's game with a total of 16 catches for 198 yards. Barden nearly doubled his career totals against the Panthers, catching nine passes for 138 yards.

Cecil Shorts III, Jacksonville Jaguars

Just when it appeared No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck had seemingly driven his team to a late victory over the visiting Jaguars, Jacksonville burned the Colts defense for one of the year's biggest plays.

On the snap following a go-ahead field goal by Adam Vinatieri with 56 seconds to go, CS3 got behind Colts safety Sergio Brown and Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert hit the second-year receiver from D-III Mount Union in stride for the thrilling winning play in a 22-17 triumph. The 80-yard play was the longest of Shorts' brief NFL career and perhaps a sign of game-breaking plays to come from the player who hails from the same small college as the Washington Redskins' Pierre Garcon. Shorts' winner also gave the Jaguars their first back-to-back wins in Indianapolis for the first time in team history, as well as a third consecutive win over the Colts -- the longest win streak for the Jaguars over the Colts.

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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