From Christian Okoye to Jammal Charles, the Kansas City Chiefs have become synonymous with featuring top-notch running backs. Is rookie tailback Kareem Hunt, the next one?
Certain NFL franchises are known for or attributed to being known for one specific thing. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s tough defense and their trademark style of smashmouth football, for the San Francisco 49ers, it’s their finesse West Coast offense and Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Steve Young and Joe Montana, for the now-Los Angeles Chargers, it’s their down-field vertical passing game, perfected down in San Diego by the late Don Coryell.
In the case of the Kansas City Chiefs, it is the running backs that have rampaged through the middle of America’s heartland over the last 20 years.
It all began with the Nigerian Nightmare in the forementioned Okoye, and would continue with other great running backs such as Marcus Allen, Priest Holmes, Larry Johnson to Charles. While it has only been three games, but Hunt is ready to add his name to such an impressive list of names.
Through his first three NFL games, Hunt has rushed for 401 yards on 47 carries and four touchdowns, averaging 133.7 yards a game. The 2017 Willoughby, Ohio-born second-rounder out of Toledo—who like Charles, is also a threat in the passing game–caught nine passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns.
While Charles—now with the divisional archrival Chiefs—holds the mark for being the Chiefs all-time leading rusher, his career was marked by injuries, which ultimately led to his release, thus opening the door for Hunt.
Hunt, who rushed for 4,945 yards and 44 touchdowns on the ground and 555 yards and one touchdown receiving on 73 receptions through the air is not only the perfect replacement for Charles, but also the heir to the Chiefs running game throne.
At 3-0, and seemingly the quietest undefeated team that no one outside of the Plains is talking about, the Chiefs went into Foxboro and stunned the defending champion New England Patriots, 42-27, thanks to Hunt’s 246-total yard, three touchdown breakout performance.
If his performances against the Patriots, Chargers and Eagles are an early indication of what to expect, then Hunt will continue the Chiefs strong tradition of great running backs for years to come.