Spencer Ware had a monster game for the Chiefs in Sunday’s victory over the Chargers.
Not a monster half or final quarter and overtime. His production was spread throughout the 33-27 comeback victory.
“He was really one of the positives in the first and second halves,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “He had a pretty good all-around game.”
Pretty good indeed. Ware bulled into the end zone from 5 yards with 1 minute, 3 seconds remaining, scoring the touchdown that led to a tie score following the extra point. From three touchdowns down 15 minutes earlier, the Chiefs would go on to complete the biggest comeback in team history.
Ware played a major role in several scoring drives. His 28-yard reception helped set up the Chiefs’ first score, a Cairo Santos’ field goal on the game’s opening drive.
After the Chiefs fell behind 24-3, their next possession opened with the longest gain of the day, a 45-yard pass from Alex Smith to Ware over the middle.
In overtime, Ware turned a short pass into a 20-yard gain on the first play and rushed for 13 on the second, getting the Chiefs’ game-winning drive off to a fast start.
There were many standouts in the Chiefs’ improbable triumph. Ware stood tall among them.
“The guy was such a spark for us,” Smith said. “The energy that he brings to his play, the way he runs, the guy does it all. Even on the sidelines as well. Incredibly positive.”
Ware finished the game with 70 rushing yards in 11 attempts, an average of 6.4 yards per carry. He had a team-best seven receptions for 129 yards, the fifth-most receiving yards in a game by a Chiefs’ running back.
The receiving production speaks to Ware’s off-season work ethic. A year ago, he had six receptions for five yards — for the season. Against the Chargers, Ware’s instincts especially impressed Reid.
“There were a couple of adjustments he made off his routes when Alex was moving around,” Reid said.
When Sunday’s game was over, Ware didn’t want to talk about his day as much as the Chiefs’.
“It was an organizational effort,” Ware said.
Part of the effort was recognizing Ware’s ability. A third-year pro from LSU, Ware opened his career with the Seattle Seahawks. Last season, after Jamaal Charles was lost for the season following a torn ACL, Ware and Charcandrick West shared the position with West getting the majority of the starts.
The position coming into this season was uncertain. Charles was slow to recover, unavailable for preseason games and inactive for the opener. Reid said Monday the team continues to evaluate Charles’ status.
Ware got the most workload in the preseason after West injured an elbow in the opening game. But the backs each took the same number of snaps, 34, against the Chargers. West finished with 23 yards on nine touches. Knile Davis didn’t log an offensive snap.
It might be tough to keep Ware from a higher percentage of snaps when the Chiefs play Sunday at Houston. He has the team’s trust.
“I think he’s an extremely talented player,” Smith said. “I think he’s confident in his ability, especially in the pass game.”