The Kansas City Chiefs knew they were getting a good player when they drafted running back Isiah Pacheco in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
But they didn’t know they were getting a steal.
Pacheco has become one of the Chiefs’ most popular players since Draft Day and a lot of it’s because of his hard-nosed, physical style of play. He also has elite speed most running backs don’t have, which only adds to the overall package.
The physicality of his game is what most think of when Pacheco is on their minds, though. It’s a safe bet no defender wants to tackle Pacheco when he’s running downhill, but they definitely don’t want the smoke if Pacheco is angry.
And that’s exactly what Pacheco was on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars: angry.
Pacheco lost a fumble on just his second carry of the game, which also happened to be during the Chiefs’ opening drive. It was a tough moment that fortunately resulted in zero points for the Jaguars.
But it also awakened the sleeping lion in Pacheco.
“With me, during the moment, I was thinking, ‘I let my teammates down’ but during the same time I tried to go get the guy with the ball,” Pacheco told reporters Wednesday. “For me, right there, the finishing (with) strain showed that I care and when I came back to the sideline, I didn’t hold my head down because I knew that I had a strong feeling in my heart that I was angry enough to go back out there and execute my job to a high level.”
Pacheco finished with 76 rushing yards on 14 carries after his fumble, which is good for an average of 5.4 yards per carry. He finished with a 82 total rushing yards on 16 carries for the day.
In terms of rushing attempts, just two carries went to other running backs. Meaning, it was clear Pacheco was the guy on Sunday. Even after his fumble.
“It just showed me that I can be something in this offense and for me to just continue to just put in that work and work on my pad level so in the games that doesn’t happen,” said Pacheco.
He certainly is showing the Chiefs -and the NFL world- something. And if he can continue to channel his emotions into productive days like he did Sunday, then the sky is the limit for both this kid and the Chiefs’ rushing attack.
Featured image via Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports