The Kansas City Chiefs pulled off a surprise win over the New England Patriots on Thursday, upsetting the Super Bowl champs in Foxborough, 42-27.
Several Chiefs players starred in the offensive explosion, but no star was brighter than rookie running back Kareem Hunt.
Hunt was thrown into the starting job and the spotlight after running back Spencer Ware tore his PCL and LCL in his right knee in preseason.
Hunt was drafted in the third round this season after a stellar career at Toledo that featured over 4,900 yards, 44 touchdowns, and most impressively, no fumbles.
So, what did he do on his very first NFL carry? Fumbled and lost the ball, of course.
It didn’t deter Hunt, though. Instead of wallowing in fumbling on his first pro carry, he bounced back and lit up the Patriots. Hunt finished the game with 148 rushing yards on 17 carries, 98 receiving yards on five receptions, and three total TDs.
His 246 yards from scrimmage was the most ever in the NFL from a rookie.
His biggest highlight was a 78-yard touchdown pass in which he burned the Patriots secondary.
After the game, Hunt said he was pleased with how he responded to the fumble.
“I couldn’t be more happy with how I responded after a fumble and came back and played my heart out,” Hunt said. He added that he was excited about his performance, but still disappointed for losing the fumble.
Quarterback Alex Smith said after the game: “To start on your first carry like that and have it go like that, it would be hard to overcome for a lot of guys.”
Aside from pleasing a few lucky fantasy football players, Hunt also had to have made the Chiefs feel a bit more comfortable with their running back situation. The Chiefs have quietly been turning over the roster, letting mainstays like Jeremy Maclin and Jamaal Charles leave in the offseason while handing the reins to Ware and Tyreek Hill. After Ware went down in preseason, some wondered if the young Chiefs offence could handle the responsibility of carrying a team with postseason ambitions.
However, after Hunt’s explosive debut against the reigning champs, the Chiefs have to feel much more confident in their chances of contending in the AFC.
Kareem Hunt never lost a fumble in college at Toledo. He lost one on his very first carry in the NFL for the Chiefs. #GoPats #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/wAmRcwkjWR
— Chat Sports (@ChatSports) September 8, 2017
Kareem Hunt – 246 scrimmage yards.
Most Scrimmage Yards in 1st Career Game – NFL History
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