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Bengals praise Chiefs; compare Jamaal Charles to Usain Bolt

Jamal Charles has never scored against the Bengals, but they still know stopping him will require an A+ effort.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Records can be very deceiving, especially before the first quarter of an NFL season is even over.

Look no further than the 1-2 Chiefs, who are frankly better than some teams who are currently 3-0. Kansas City had arguably the toughest three-game stretch to open the year of anyone. Road trips to Houston and Green Bay with a home game vs Denver squeezed in between has led to a 1-2 start, but that's not fooling the Bengals as they get set to host the Chiefs.

A big reason why is Kansas City features one of the best running backs you'll find in Jamaal Charles. As Reggie Nelson told's Geoff Hobson, any defense is going to have their work cut out for them when defending Charles is the task at hand.

"He puts his head down and runs. Just a great athlete. Speed, balance. He’s like a Gio (Bernard) guy. I’m not comparing them," Nelson says. " Gio’s an athlete, he’s shifty, and Charles is the same way. They do a lot of things with him and we’re going to have to play great defense on him."

Wallace Gilberry went as far as to compare Charles to the greatest runner in sports in Usain Bolt.

"Usain Bolt. He’s a track star, man. You give him daylight, and he’s going to burn you," Gilberry said. "He’s one of those guys you have to contain, you have to get hats around him, you have to hit him. If not, he can go the distance. He’s goes between the tackles, outside the tackles, so he’s one of those guys whenever you get a chance to put your hat on, you have to put your hat on. That’s the only thing that will slow him down is when you put your hat on."

Charles annually has one of, if not the highest yards-per-carry average of any back. His 5.5 yards per carry (ypc) career mark is currently the fourth best in pro football history. He's finished seven seasons averaging over 5.0 ypc and has three seasons in which he averaged 5.9-plus. Through three games this year, Charles has 231 yards on 48 carries (4.8 ypc) with four TDs while catching 14 passes for 81 yards and a score.

Marvin Lewis has coached the Bengals three times against Charles, and his defenses held the Chiefs runner to an average of 83 all-purpose yards in those contests while not allowing him to score. Lewis knows stopping Charles is no easy task, and the Bengals will have to be at their best to shut him down again this time around.

"He gets the ball in so many ways," Lewis said this week. "He gets the ball as a runner; he gets the ball as a receiver, and they're going to try to work to get the ball in his hands in a lot of different ways. He's a matchup that's not a good open-field matchup for most linebackers."

If the Bengals end up winning this game, you'll likely see Charles with another sub-par game by his standards in the final box score. Getting to that will be no easy task, but these Bengals and their No. 5 rushing defense are certainly capable of it.