The Kansas City Chiefs have now won five straight games, which is tied with the Miami Dolphins for the league’s longest winning streak. With a 9-2 record, Kansas City is still all alone atop the AFC. While teams like the Dolphins and Buffalo Bills are still on their tail, the Chiefs control their own destiny.
And rookie running back Isiah Pacheco has been a big contributor to the team’s success.
In Week 11, Pacheco had a career-high 107 yards on 15 carries during the team’s 30-27 win against the Los Angeles Chargers. The week before, the Rutgers product collected 82 yards on 16 carries against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But on Sunday, Pacheco only garnered 69 yards (3.1 yards per carry) on 22 touches during the team’s 26-10 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams — but he was still able to reach the end zone for his second career touchdown.
“I was hyped,” said Pacheco of the three-yard touchdown run. “I was excited. For me, [I was] just thankful for the o-line and the scheme that we ran. It all started at practice on Monday this week.”
Adding to Pacheco’s excitement was a relative in attendance.
“I had my aunt come down from California,” Pacheco told reporters after the game. “Drove 20 hours to get here.”
Sometimes fans expect rookies to have an instant impact — but typically, that’s not what happens. It’s safe to say, however, that Pacheco isn’t content with his impact thus far.
“Just day-by-day, going through the motions,” he remarked, “[there’s] never a day that goes by that I’m satisfied. [I] just keep working — keep coming in the building with the same mindset and the same attitude. When I get out there, it’s time to roll — and we’re rolling; we’re going fast.”
Despite averaging less than four yards per carry, Pacheco showed a flash of something new on Sunday: he caught a pass. It was only the third reception of his very young career — and at 17 yards, it was the longest.
There are many things opposing defenses have to consider when they face the Kansas City offense. Pacheco now getting more involved in the passing game adds another item to an already-long list.
But one thing we don’t have to worry about is how his teammates feel about the rookie running back. After the game, veteran safety Justin Reid raved about him, saying that Pacheco is one of his favorite offensive players.
“As a young guy growing up,” said Pacheco of his Reid’s remark, “looking at these players and watching them — [I had] never attended an NFL game — so for me to play in one?
“[I want] to show who I really am — just continue to be myself, never change and let the game speak for itself.”