So far this season the Kansas City Chiefs have used a three-man rotation at running back, but coming out of their bye will one of them emerge as a #1 back?
The Kansas City Chiefs were on their bye week this past weekend. After a solid 5-2 start to the season, the Chiefs are now preparing for the final 10-game stretch of the 2022 season. In their first seven games, Patrick Mahomes and the passing attack were fantastic once again, but the rushing attack still remains a bit of a mystery. The Chiefs have had some success running the ball, but it has been an inconsistent committee approach so far. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jerick McKinnon, and rookie Isiah Pacheco have all played a role, but will any of them take control of the running back position coming out of the bye?
The first question we should probably ask is do the Chiefs need a single back to emerge as the primary back in the offense? The Chiefs are 5-2 and have one of the best offenses in the NFL with a three-back committee. Should they just continue to use different backs when and where they see fit? The answer is probably yes, to an extent. I’m certainly not going to advocate for any one of K.C.’s backs receiving 100% of the workload coming out of the bye. However, there is room for improvement.
The Chiefs entered this past weekend’s games ranked 19th in rushing yards and 17th in yards per carry. So while the offense as a whole is producing well and the passing game will always remain the biggest part of KC’s offense, there is certainly room for the Chiefs to be more productive running the ball. So the question is if the Chiefs should adjust their running back usage to be more productive coming out of the bye. Which backs can be the most successful in different situations?
Through seven games, this is the breakdown in playing time.
- Jerick McKinnon – 200 snaps (42.3%)
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire – 198 snaps (41.9%)
- Isiah Pacheco – 74 snaps (15.6%)
So let’s look at each of those backs and see just how they’ve been used so far and see if their production points to more or less utilization as the season goes on.