A lot of rookies have debuted in the NFL over the years, but none of them have done what Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt did on Thursday night.
Hunt set a record for players in their first game with 246 yards from scrimmage and scored three touchdowns to become the third player to score three times while gaining more than 150 yards in his debut. The remarkable performance isn’t one that anyone was predicting before the game and it wasn’t one that anyone was predicting after Hunt’s first carry of the night.
Hunt fumbled and the Patriots recovered, which made it seem like the game was headed in a very different direction for both Hunt and the Chiefs than where it wound up. The Patriots couldn’t get any points off the turnover, however, and Hunt got the ball back in his hands on the next drive to start on his way to the record books.
“I had some ups and downs, especially at the beginning of the game,” Hunt said in his postgame press conference. “I just had to keep playing through it, not get down on myself and keep making plays. Honestly, that’s not the way I wanted to start. It was a rough one because I don’t remember the last time I fumbled. It was early in my college career, and I actually got it back. I lost one and I knew I couldn’t get down on myself. The guys on the sidelines stuck with me, especially the defense, they said we got your back. They were just letting me know to forget about it and come back and make plays.”
Hunt did exactly that, including the 78-yard touchdown catch that put the Chiefs up for good in the fourth quarter of a game that marked the arrival of a big new piece of the Kansas City offense.