For the second straight offseason, the Kansas City Chiefs have lost a big-time offensive playmaker.
Last offseason, they stunned seemingly everyone by trading Tyreek Hill, perhaps the NFL’s premier speed threat at wide receiver, to the Miami Dolphins, and this offseason, they saw wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster join the New England Patriots.
The reigning Super Bowl champs were also in danger of losing running back Jerick McKinnon, but on Tuesday they managed to re-sign him.
At first glance, one may think McKinnon didn’t play that big a role in their championship season, given that he ran for just 291 yards and has never made a Pro Bowl.
But he led the Chiefs with nine receiving touchdowns while adding 512 yards through the air, and he became one of a handful of players to score at least eight receiving touchdowns in a six-game stretch since 2016.
A full list of the players to catch 8+ touchdown passes across a six-game span in a single season since 2016:
Jerick McKinnon https://t.co/9RxU4xjhco
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) May 2, 2023
During the Patrick Mahomes era, the Chiefs have never been known as a team that likes to run the football, let alone one that does a lot of damage on the ground.
They ranked just 25th in rushing attempts in 2022 while throwing the fifth-most passes and notching more passing yards and touchdowns than any other team.
But it is clear in the NFL, even nowadays, that a team must have an adequate running attack in order to set up its passing game.
McKinnon didn’t start any games in 2022, as Isiah Pacheco and Clyde Edwards-Helaire split Kansas City’s starting duties, but he found his niche as he helped pick up the slack in Hill’s absence.
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