Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt stood out during the first three weeks of the 2017 regular season and on Thursday received the AFC Offensive Player of the Month and NFL offensive rookie of the month for September.
Hunt continued his incredible rookie season with his third consecutive game with a rushing TD. Hunt averaged 6.4 yards per carry before his game-sealing 69-yard touchdown run. On the day, Hunt averaged a first down on every rush, finishing with 10.12 yards per carry against the Chargers.
Hunt faces a tough Washington front Monday night that allows only 3.2 yards per carry this season, ranking seventh in the league. That likely means another day of waiting for the right play to pop. Hunt gains a whopping 54.9 percent of his rushing total on plays of 15 yards or more, which also leads the league.
Keep it in front of you
Terrance Mitchell is the epitome of Bob Sutton’s “bend but don’t break” philosophy. While Mitchell gives up the most receiving yards by any NFL corner at 303 yards on the season, he ranks as a top-20 corner in allowed passer rating. He allows a net quarterback rating of 58.0, good for 17th in the NFL after 3 weeks. Marcus Peters stands ninth at 49.6
Mitchell played his best game of the season in Los Angeles. He led the team with nine tackles and four passes defended. Mitchell now leads the team on the season in passes broken up with a six total. He did surrender 137 yards against the Chargers but held Philip Rivers to an 85.9 passer rating. Nest he faces the quarterback with the fifth-best passer rating through week three in Washington’s Kirk Cousins.
Andy Reid’s play call balance
Reid’s play-calling in week three versus Los Angeles was atypical. For the first time in 2017, Reid called more than 40 percent running plays.
The success of Kareem Hunt makes the running game higher priority. Hunt’s unique skill to break tackles and gain extra yards after contact provides Andy Reid’s offense with more chunk plays more than in recent seasons. The lack of targets for Travis Kelce in week three likely shifted the emphasis further to the run game. Look for Kelce to play a bigger role versus the Washington defense.