In another year, in another set of circumstances, sitting in another spot in the standings, Jamaal Charles would be an MVP candidate.
Would he win? Probably not.
But he would be in the discussion because what Charles has done is worthy of several trophies he won't win this season, including comeback player of the year and MVP, but not with the likes of Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson in the balloting.
Peterson has been a national cover story for returning from reconstructive knee surgery to lead the league in rushing — an astounding 1,898 yards, only 208 yards from a single-season NFL record.
Peterson has nine 100-yard games this season, two 200-yard games and two touchdown runs of at least 80 yards. He's done all that playing six games this season against defenses among the league's top 10 against the run. Peterson will face the Packers in the season finale Sunday with Green Bay 14th in the league in run defense.
Charles plays for a 2-13 team with a pile of injuries on offense and quarterbacks who have turned the ball over a league-high 27 times. He is coming off surgery to repair an anterior cruciate ligament and has rushed for 100 yards or more seven times and 200 yards twice. He has three touchdown runs of at least 80 yards and has played six games against teams in the league's top 10 run defenses.
Charles will play his seventh game of the season against a top 10 run defense Sunday in Denver. What he has done is lost in a pile of losses for a team facing another organizational overhaul this offseason.
Asked Wednesday if he believes Charles would get MVP consideration if the Chiefs had a few more victories, coach Romeo Crennel said: "If you win, things go better for you, for your team, for your players who are performing, and when you lose, the guys who are performing, they don't get as much recognition. Jamaal has done a really nice job for us, has a chance to be a 1,500-yard rusher, and that's something that doesn't happen every day."
Charles also stands alone in the Broncos' 10-game winning streak. He is the only running back who has exceeded 100 yards against the Broncos' defense since the Broncos last lost a game — Oct. 7 in Foxborough, Mass., when Stevan Ridley rushed for 151 of the Patriots' 251 yards.
Charles had 107 yards in the Broncos' 17-9 victory at Arrowhead Stadium, making the Chiefs the only team to exceed 91 yards rushing against the Broncos during their 10-game winning streak.
The Chiefs are coming off a game when they rushed for 352 yards and still lost to the Colts this past Sunday. The Chiefs' best chance to pull the improbable upset Sunday will be reflected in Kansas City's rushing totals. If they cross the century mark and creep toward 150 yards rushing, they're going to have a shot come the fourth quarter.