The seventh-round draft pick racked up a career-high 153 scrimmage yards during Sunday’s 23-20 victory. After a second-quarter carry, he even repped out a four-count of push-ups to signal he was ready to be the workhorse.
“I had to get my juice back,” he declared postgame, after carrying Kansas City to its biggest rushing team output (204 yards) since October 2020.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes credits not only Pacheco, but general manager Brett Veach and head coach Andy Reid.
“It’s a great job by Brett Veach and Coach Reid of bringing in great players,” he said on Wednesday. “Even when I’m not playing my best, we have guys like Isiah who can dominate the run game. We have offensive linemen that can block the run game, [a] defense that can play great defense throughout the first four games of the year — so it’s not all on my shoulders to go out there and win the football game; I can rely on my teammates to do stuff.
“Throughout that last game, Isiah was working — and even though we might’ve had some of those RPO advantage throws or whatever you want to call them — it’s [was] like, ‘Man just give this man the football and let him go.’
“He accepted the challenge — and that’s what makes this team great.”
Off and running against the Jets, Pacheco’s performance energized Kansas City’s running back unit.
“He’s been due for a big one,” observed journeyman back Jerick McKinnon on Wednesday. “Everyone knows what he brings to the table. Opportunities are increasing each and every week for him. Once he got that long run, we knew what type of night it would be for him.”
Pacheco is now aiming for his fourth consecutive game with at least 70 scrimmage yards — and his third straight with a rushing touchdown — when the Chiefs meet the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5.
“If I’ve ever seen a young guy be consistent, it’s that guy,” said Mahomes of Pacheco. “I mean, you have to calm him down because he wants to go as hard as he can every single play — and that’s what the great ones do.
“I don’t know if y’all saw — but [when] he scored a touchdown, I don’t know if his feet ever landed. He like, jumped, all the way.
“That’s his energy every single day — [and] just as much in the locker room, the meeting room, on the practice field and game days.
“So I don’t think we have to worry about him being consistent.”