Was it a fluke? A flash in the pan? Charcandrick who?
Prolific running back Jamaal Charles is lost for the 2015 season with a ruptured right ACL, so the Kansas City Chiefs needed the diminutive product (5-10, 205) from Abilene Christian University to help pump life and production into the Kansas City offense.
In a season that's been filled with underachievement with very few bright performances, West stepped up against the Steelers. Now, he has to do it again, this Sunday in London against the Detroit Lions.
"This business isn't what you did yesterday, it's what can you do today?" Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "His body feels a little bit different than it did previous weeks because of the work he had. How are you going to handle that? It's something he needs to handle each day."
West was last weekend's most unexpected NFL star, running for 110 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers defense. He was a vital part in ending the Chiefs five-game losing streak and it came from the most unlikely contributor.
His football pedigree did not scream pro potential. West entered the league as an undrafted college free agent, part of a group of 400 to 500 similar players that go to training camp each year with about a dozen or so earning employment.
After spending nine weeks on the Chiefs practice squad last year, West was promoted to the active roster and finished the 2014 season as part of the 53-man list.
Nine months later, he stayed on the main roster coming out of the preseason and with the Charles injury, he's now the featured runner for Andy Reid's offense.
"He worked his tail off last year," Reid said of West. "You could see his talent, we could see it during camp when he first got here, and then he's just learned some of the finer points of the National Football League. He took advantage of an opportunity and did a nice job with it."
The stars were still swirling for West after the game, but he left little doubt that he knew how to handle his first major NFL moment.
"With how the offensive line was blocking today, anybody could have gotten back there and ran," West said. "I'm just thankful to be here."
He should be, because West's 110-yard game was notable for several reasons. In an era where throwing the ball is the preferred method of offense, an already difficult job of hitting the 100-mark for a runner has become even tougher.
In the first seven weeks of the 2015 season there have been 48 games by 30 running backs that reached the century mark. In comparison, there have been 87 games where a receiver has passed 100 yards and 54 games where a quarterback has thrown for 300 yards or more
Plus, West is one of three backs in that group of 30 that was not drafted by any NFL team. The others are Thomas Rawls of Seattle and Chris Ivory of the New York Jets. And, only West and Justin Forsett of Baltimore are among those 30 backs who spent time in their careers on an NFL practice squad.
There was little doubt about the respect West had in the Chiefs locker room before the Pittsburgh game. His performance was simply an affirmation of what he can deliver to the offense despite not having a gold-plated entrance into the league.
"To play the way he did for four quarters was really, really nice," quarterback Alex Smith said. "(He) got opportunities, stepped up and made the most of them."
West was most impressive in the fourth quarter. With the Chiefs needing production to run the clock and protect a lead, West cracked off a 36-yard run and finished the quarter with 53 yards on seven carries. Kansas City won by 10 points.
"It's a confidence builder," Reid said of West's effort against Pittsburgh. "It's also a confidence builder for those guys around him that are working hard. To know that you've got guys that can make plays around you, I think adds up in a lot of different ways."
SERIES HISTORY: 13th regular-season meeting between the Chiefs and Lions. Kansas City leads the series 7-5, but Detroit has won the last two games, played in 2007 (25-20) and 2011 (48-3), both at Detroit's Ford Field. The last victory for the Chiefs came in 2003, when they grabbed a 45-17 victory. The Chiefs will be making their first visit to London and will play their first regular season game outside the United States. The previously played preseason games in Berlin (1990 against the Rams), Tokyo (1994 against the Vikings), Monterrey, Mexico (1996 against the Cowboys) and in Tokyo again (1998 against the Packers). They were 1-3 in those games.
GAME PLAN: Now that the Chiefs have stopped the football bleeding and their five-game losing streak, they must build on that victory and it has to be done across the pond in London. Based on the way they've played and the performance by Detroit this year, the Chiefs appear to have the edge at Wembley Stadium. For that to actually happen, they will need another four-quarter effort like the one they showed in beating Pittsburgh. Head coach Andy Reid got solid play from all three phases of the game, especially in the fourth quarter when big plays were needed, and the Chiefs finally responded and preserved a 10-point winning margin. They will need to get after Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (sacked 16 times) with the pass rush and force turnovers; they are plus-1 in the turnover ratio, joining Philadelphia as the only teams with losing records and a positive turnover ratio at this point in the season.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
The Chiefs allowed five different receivers 100 yards or more in a game; that's tied for the most in the league with Atlanta and Baltimore. Three of those 100-yard games came at the start of the season, when Smith was out because of an NFL suspension. But Kansas City has given up 100-plus games in its most recent games, with Smith never leaving the field.
Detroit's offensive play calls have been 70 percent passing through seven games. With quarterback Matt Stafford and wide receivers Johnson, Golden Tate and Lance Moore, the Lions are more potent in the air than on the ground -- with only two rushing touchdowns compared to 13 touchdown passes. The Chiefs must clamp down on the big passing plays they have been giving up over the last five games, allowing 24 completions of 20-plus yards and five of 40-plus yards or more.
--Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher vs. Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah.
Both players entered the league at the top of the first round in the 2013 NFL Draft. Kansas City selected Fisher with the first choice, while Ansah went to Detroit at No. 5. Fisher's struggles are well-documented, with his development hindered by injuries and his lack of experience. He moved back to left tackle last Sunday, after starting the previous four games on the right side. Overall, his play has improved and he's the second most reliable blocker on the Chiefs front (behind left guard Ben Grubbs).
His growth will be tested by Ansah, who ranks among the league leaders with six sacks, giving him 21.5 sacks in his 37 games with the Lions. This season his play ranks him with Michael Bennett of Seattle as one of the top performers at right defensive end in the league. Kansas City is coming off its best effort in pass protection, allowing Pittsburgh two sacks in 34 passing plays. Fisher will need a similar performance against Ansah.