As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare for an all-out war against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 57, it appears that the running game has been the last thing on everybody’s mind. Jerick McKinnon has become sort of an afterthought in the KC offense, turning in just 15 carries for 26 yards on the ground in two playoff games. Nevertheless, the 30-year-old veteran sits at +5000 odds for Super Bowl MVP — the third-best among ball carriers in the affair, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Chiefs were able to eke past the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship, very plainly by the superior throwing arm of Patrick Mahomes — who completed 29-of-43 passes for 326 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs’ victory. While the air attack has soared for head coach Andy Reid’s offense, the running game has soured.
McKinnon initially grew menacing in the Chiefs' offense with his versatile pass-catching ability, but even that has taken a major hit in these playoffs. He went without a target in the Divisional round win over the Jacksonville Jaguars and managed just two receptions on four targets for 17 yards against Cincinnati. This isn’t the McKinnon that the football community watched explode on the scene in the second half of the 2022-23 regular season. And it’s possible his role gets diminished even further with Clyde Edwards-Helaire active in Sunday’s title.
While a running back hasn’t won Super Bowl MVP in 25 years, this Kansas City-Philadelphia matchup appears destined to be one that’s unforgettable.
This article can also be found in our Ultimate Guide to Super Bowl 57, presented by Frank’s Red Hot.