RB Darwin Thompson - Kansas City Chiefs

5-8, 200Born: 2-12-1997College: Utah StateDrafted: Round 6, pick 2019

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Week 21: vs San Francisco 49ers

All RB vs SF

FBG says: Bad matchup. The Kansas City backfield looked crowded entering the postseason, but has ultimately boiled down to a one-man show. Through 2 playoff games, Damien Williams has commanded 91% of offensive snaps and 29 of 30 running back carries. Seemingly at his season peak, Williams is dominating the backfield on all three downs as the clock-control component of this dynamic machine. He's been only marginally effective, turning those 29 rushes into 92 yards (just 3.2 apiece). But with his versatility and occasional explosiveness, coach Andy Reid has had little reason to turn to backups Darwin Thompson and LeSean McCoy. Still, the ground game is mostly secondary in this offense, which finished the regular season 27th in rushing attempts and 23rd in yardage. Here in the playoffs, over 45 snaps with the score within a touchdown, Kansas City backs have taken just 12 called runs (27%). Of course, quarterback Patrick Mahomes has dazzled on the ground in the postseason, racking up 106 yards and a game-changing long touchdown. But Mahomes' mobility is most valuable in the passing game, biding his receivers time by darting in and out of the pocket. He only cleared 25 rushing yards twice during the regular season. The San Francisco defense has been fantastic for most of the 2019 season, but markedly less effective against the run than the pass. The 13-3 49ers didn't face much rushing volume, but gave up the league's 10th-most yards per carry (4.5) and allowed 7 different runners to top 75 yards. The front line is stout, with DeForest Bucker and Arik Armstead true forces against the run and prized rookie Nick Bosa excelling on all three downs. That since Week 12 has been a different unit as it struggled with Dre Greenlaw filling in for Kwon Alexander early on. Since Week 12, Greenlaw has been excellent and the results have showed as they have not allowed a running back to top 70 yards and have faced stiff competition in Aaron Jones twice, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, and Todd Gurley. The 49ers do boast a strong run-support secondary, with Jimmie Ward and Richard Sherman consistently giving help in the box. Still, a successful unit shouldn't rely quite so much on its last line of defense. Unless Kansas City can bust off a big play, expect them to struggle in this game.

Recent Stats and Projections

17 vs LAC 12 4 17 0 1 1.0 -4 0 0 1.3
19 vs HOU 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
20 vs TEN 11 1 7 0 1 0.0 0 0 0 0.7
21 vs SF 11 1 0 0 1 0.0 0 0 0 0
21 vs SF PROJ-Dodds * 4 * * 0.7 * * * *
21 vs SF PROJ-Tremblay * 3 * * 1.0 * * * *
21 vs SF PROJ-Bloom * 2 * * 0.0 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs RB 1, RB 12, RB 24, RB 36

Percentile ranks

Darwin Thompson's percentile rank in each category, among RB with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 15 vs DEN (8 / 38 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)

Darwin Thompson rushed eight times for 38 yards and caught one pass on one target in the Chiefs win over the Broncos on Sunday. Thompson led the Chiefs in rushing attempts and rushing yardage, but it is worth noting that Thompson ceded nearly every passing down to Ware and McCoy. This makes sense as Thompson is a rookie and pass-protection is a big deal when your Super Bowl hopes rest on the shoulders of a player like Mahomes. Thompson was able to break open two runs of 12 yards a piece, which were his long gains of the day, while also failing to gain more than one yard on three of his eight carries. Andy Reid has remarked that he wants to keep McCoy fresh for the playoffs, which means Thompson should continue to see a fair amount of touches while Damien Williams is still on the sidelines recovering from a rib injury and the flu. Thompson is a nice fit in this offense, as he has the skillset to break big plays and get to the second level of the defense with the Chiefs keeping opposing defenses off-balance trying to guard their receivers.

2019 Week 13 vs OAK (11 / 44 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Thompson got a few snaps in the passing game before Darrel Williams went out, and a ton of carries to ice the game after Williams went out. Thompson ran hard inside and did not look or run small. Other than one carry when an unblocked Maxx Crosby engulfed him, Thompson usually broke the first tackle or at least got some yards after first contact. He was thrown into the end zone for the last Chiefs offensive score of the game by one of his linemen after breaking a tackle.


Kansas City Chiefs Team Links

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Footballguys Articles

The Top 10: Week 16
  Matt Waldman - December 16
The Best of Footballguys Week 15
  Matt Waldman - December 13
The Gut Check No.495: Revisiting the Chiefs Backfield
  Matt Waldman - December 3
The Gut Check No.493: The Backdoor Playoff Crew
  Matt Waldman - November 20
Roundtable Week 11
  FBG Staff - November 14
Roundtable Week 5
  FBG Staff - October 2
The Best of Footballguys Week 4
  Matt Waldman - September 26
Roundtable Week 4
  FBG Staff - September 26
Roundtable Week 1
  FBG Staff - September 4
On Second Thought: Running Back Edition
  Jason Wood - August 30

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