Kansas City Chiefs' running back Jerick McKinnon has had an exceptional season so far, fitting into any role that this offense asks of him. In fact, McKinnon has turned out to be a versatile weapon that the Chiefs can use to punish defenses both on the ground and through the air.
"He is a very good football player that happens to play the running back position," said Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy. "Jerick is doing a great job. He is doing everything that we expected him to do – that is just who he is. He is the ultimate professional."
McKinnon has managed to make a massive impact on this Chiefs' offense due to his impressive speed and athletic ability. Now an eight-year veteran, McKinnon has been a Swiss army knife of sorts for the offense this season by utilizing the many unique characteristics of his game on a weekly basis.
"He does everything the right way," said quarterback Patrick Mahomes." He protects well, he runs routes well and he runs the ball well. So, we can have him in there and trust that he's going to know exactly the protections assignment, where to be on time and whenever we give him the runs, he'll make plays happen. He is a great player."
McKinnon has 256 scrimmage yards over the last two weeks, which is the fourth-most of any player in the NFL. McKinnon also has a league-most four scrimmage touchdowns during that span.
With a career high of five scrimmage touchdowns overall on the season and a new career-high in receiving yards with 429, McKinnon has really shown how valuable of a weapon he is throughout the year. Clearly, McKinnon has fit perfectly into the role that Head Coach Andy Reid and Bieniemy have crafted for him.
What makes McKinnon so impactful in this offense is his ability to essentially play two positions. McKinnon is listed as a running back, but that doesn't really tell the whole story, as he has made a significant difference in the passing game, too. His 492 yards after the catch this season rank fifth in the NFL.
McKinnon knows his role in this offense, which allows him to be as successful as he has ever been in the NFL. His versatility is a great luxury for the Chiefs, and at this point, defenses know that McKinnon can do it all. What the defenses have yet to figure out, however, is how to slow him down.
Week-in and week-out, McKinnon continues to tear up defenses with his speed, vision, explosiveness and hands. You name it, McKinnon has it.