When Kareem Hunt was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round with the 86th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, hopes were high that he could be a breakout rookie star. He was called the “steal of the draft” in some corners before the event even took place and was highly touted by the likes of Pro Football Focus as someone who could start as an every-down back right away.
Hunt put up some decent numbers as a collegiate player at Toledo, totaling almost 5,000 rushing yards and and 44 TDs in his career with the Rockets. Hunt was a two-time First Team selection in the MAC, but while those numbers are impressive, we all know #MACtion is not all about three yards and a cloud of dust.
But even the most optimistic and biggest fans of Hunt and the Chiefs could have never dreamed of the start to his career that is currently going down as one of the best in NFL history.
Right now Hunt leads the NFL in rushing yards at 133.7 per game (almost 40 more yards per game more than the next closest running back), 8.5 yards per carry, and 4 TDs.
The rookie runner burst onto the scene with 256 total yards to lead the Chiefs to a road victory over the Patriots on opening night. After 109 total yards and 2 TDs against the Eagles, he then demolished the Chargers with 172 yards on 17 carries. That included another highlight reel play with this 69 yard touchdown run that iced another victory late in the fourth quarter.
— Kareem Hunt MVP (@Blutman27UCLA) September 24, 2017
The numbers through three games for Hunt are just astounding. Have a look below at some of the most impressive stats that the rookie running back has already racked up through just three games.
* Hunt is the first rookie to gain 100 yards from scrimmage in his first three games since Matt Forte of the Bears almost ten years ago.
Kareem Hunt: 100 scrimmage yards for the 3rd straight game. Last rookie to do that in each of his first 3 team games was Matt Forte in 2008. pic.twitter.com/nM2fhEcKY0
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 24, 2017
* The Chiefs rookie sensation also has the second most yards from scrimmage in his first three games in NFL history with 538. Hunt is on pace for 2,869 yards from scrimmage this year, which would shatter the NFL record of Chris Johnson (2,509 set in 2009).
Kareem Hunt trails only Billy Sims in most scrimmage yards to start a career through 3 games. pic.twitter.com/Gj7cFRIGJt
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 25, 2017
* Hunt is the first player in NFL history to have a 50+ yard TD in each of his first three games. It’s the first time a running back has achieved that feat in an entire season since Adrian Peterson in 2012. Did I mention that Hunt has done it in less than one quarter of the season thus far?
Kareem Hunt: First player in NFL history to have a 50+ yard touchdown of any kind in each of his first 3 career games.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 25, 2017
Kareem Hunt runs for a 69-yard TD in garbage time. More 50+ yard plays than any back in a season since Adrian Peterson in 2012. In Week 3.
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) September 24, 2017
* Even more impressive is the fact that he’s surpassed Hall of Fame running backs like Eric Dickerson, Jerome Bettis, and Curtis Martin with that big play total. THROUGH THREE CAREER GAMES!!!
50+ yard TDs, career
Kareem Hunt – 3 (in 3 games)
Thurman Thomas – 3
J.Riggins – 3
F.Harris – 3
E.Dickerson – 2
J.Bettis – 2
C.Martin – 2
— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) September 25, 2017
It’s unrealistic to expect Hunt to keep this up, but right now at least he’s on pace for one of the greatest offensive seasons in NFL history.
Kareem Hunt is on pace for 2,138 rushing yards, 730 receiving yards, and 32 TDs. pic.twitter.com/qfh1EtvARP
— Chiefs_All_Day (@Chiefs_All_Day) September 25, 2017
It’s not realistic for Hunt to reach quite those lofty totals, but there’s no reason to see why he or the Chiefs should slow down significantly. A road win at New England was the perfect start to the season and with Alex Smith as accurate as ever, teams aren’t going to be able to stack the box against Hunt. Smith is off to an insane statistical start as well with a 77% completion percentage and 132.7 QB Rating thanks to 7 TDs and 0 INTs through three games. Those first two numbers would also rewrite the NFL record books. Not a bad time to be a Chiefs fan, isn’t it?