Isiah Pacheco looks like a key player for the AFC Championship game. I think they’re going to have to use him more than usual, and he’s been an effective back.

With Patrick Mahomes limited by an ankle injury, I think Kansas City will call more running plays than usual, and Pacheco has been their main runner. They also use Jerick McKinnon, but he’s more of a third-down type back – he’s a better blocker and pass catcher, but Pacheco is their primary runner.

I liked the look of Pacheco on Saturday. He was running hard against the Jaguars, banging out 95 yards on 12 attempts. That’s remarkable production for a lightly regarded 7th-round pick out of Rutgers.

In the Super Bowl era, only 20 times has a running back who was originally selected in the seventh round run for 50-plus yards in a playoff game. It just hasn’t happened often. Over half of those games have been authored by Ahmad Bradshaw, Jamal Anderson and Craig James.

Pacheco looks like he’ll be putting up at least one more of those games this season.

2014Justin Forsett, N.E.L 31-35241295.40
1984Dan Doornink, Sea.Rdrs.W 13-7291264.30
1992Marion Butts, S.D.K.C.W 17-0151197.91
1998Jamal Anderson, Atl.S.F.W 20-18291133.92
1985Craig James, Mia.W 31-14221054.80
1985Craig James, Rdrs.W 27-20231044.51
1998Jamal Anderson, Atl.vs. Den.L 19-3418965.30
2022Isiah Pacheco, K.C.Jac.W 27-2012957.90
1973Oscar Reed, Min.Was.W 27-2017955.60
1995Darick Holmes, Buff.Mia.W 37-2215875.81
2020Chris Carson, Sea.RamsL 20-3016774.80
1973Oscar Reed, Dall.W 27-1018754.20
2011Ahmad Bradshaw, NYGat S.F.W 20-1720743.70
2011Ahmad Bradshaw, NYGvs. N.E.W 21-1717724.21
1993Scottie Graham, NYGL 10-1719693.60
1998Jamal Anderson, Min.W 30-2723672.90
2007Ahmad Bradshaw, NYGat T.B.W 24-1417663.90
2011Ahmad Bradshaw, NYGat G.B.W 37-2012635.30
2007Ahmad Bradshaw, NYGat G.B.W 23-2016633.91
2011Ahmad Bradshaw, NYGAtl.W 24-214634.50

Statistics compiled using search tools at

—Ian Allan