For most football players, winning the Big Game is the pinnacle of success and an achievement that they spend decades of their lives working towards. However, Chiefs running back and Rutgers alumnus Isiah Pacheco already has two championships to his name, despite being in the league for just two seasons.
Pacheco, who grew up in Vineland, NJ, did not have his strongest showing yesterday, picking up 59 rushing yards on 18 carries with no touchdowns, but walked away a 2-time champion nonetheless. In last year’s matchup, Pacheco recorded 76 rushing yards and a touchdown in another narrow victory.
As Patrick Mahomes threw the game-winning touchdown to former New York Jet Mecole Hardman to secure a 25-22 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the biggest game of the season, it officially made history for Isiah Pacheco. The victory meant that he had become the first running back to start and win the Big Game twice in his first two seasons in the league.
The Chiefs running back wouldn’t be where he is, if not for his time at Rutgers. Over his four years in New Brunswick, Pacheco would accumulate more than 2400 rushing yards and 19 total touchdowns. His performance as a Scarlet Knight was impressive enough to get him drafted with the 251st pick in the NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Now, two years later, Pacheco has been the team’s starting running back for both seasons and has tallied more than 1700 yards and 14 total touchdowns. In his short career, Pacheco has played in 7 playoff games, including the Big Game twice, winning all of them. This rare feat has been accomplished seldom in the NFL, as few players find this type of success so early into their careers.