The Kansas City Chiefs clinched their seventh consecutive AFC West division title on Sunday with their overtime victory over the Houston Texans. Production came from multiple players, but it was the effort of a veteran running back that had fans buzzing.
Jerick McKinnon has been riding a hot streak over the past three games making a significant impact on the passing game. McKinnon has connected with Patrick Mahomes for four touchdown receptions in three games, including the first-half score in Houston.
While his success in the passing game has been notable, It was McKinnon’s legs that got the job done on Sunday. The game-winning 26-yard touchdown run from the 30-year-old halfback dramatically sealed the victory for Kansas City.
“It happened so fast, we were just trying to get our thoughts together on the previous drive,” McKinnon said. “We were just thankful for the opportunity because in that specific situation, as offensive leaders, you definitely want to go down and score and make it hard. So, it was a big play by Frank (Clark) to give us a chance to win the game. Then we got the ball back. Everybody was just like, we need to score. Sometimes, when we get in that position this year, we (go for a) field goal or just wasn’t satisfied with the outcome. It was great blocking. I didn’t even get touched on the play. They made it easy for me. So, shoutouts to everybody.”
What was even more impressive, McKinnon called his own shot in the huddle, predicting the game-winning score before it even occurred. They executed the called play to perfection from the huddle all the way to the endzone.
“We were coming into the huddle, and obviously, we were running the four-minute ball and stacking the box,” said McKinnon. “So, it was a little tough. Pat (Mahomes), he looked at me and said, ‘Two hands on the ball. Let’s go.’ I said, ‘I’m about to score.’ JuJu (Smith-Schuster) looked at me. He said, ‘I got your block, bro. Find me when you get out there.’ It worked out exactly like that. I made it to the second level, and I literally ran off of JuJu’s block and was able to score. It’s just crazy it worked out like that, man. It’s crazy.”
McKinnon has been a solid player throughout his career, but he has taken his game to another level in recent weeks. His role as a third-down back has evolved and he continues to be featured in the Chiefs’ winning performances each week.