E Point Perfect

Former Vikings RB Ties Record of Vikings Legend


Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Vikings face the Chicago Bears in Week 18. It is a standard Sunday noon CST game, but the NFL played two games on Saturday in the final week of the regular season. The Kansas City Chiefs played their season finale in Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium against the Raiders, and one former Viking starred in the game.

The game included Jerick McKinnon, a teammate of quarterback Patrick Mahomes since 2021. He is one of the most productive players in the league, just a few years after his career was in jeopardy.

Former Vikings RB Ties
Jan 1, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon (1) celebrates with quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

The running back played for the Vikings from 2014 for four seasons until he left in free agency and signed with the 49ers. After that move, McKinnon missed two full seasons with a torn ACL and setbacks in the subsequent recovery. He had a limited role in San Francisco in 2020.

Former Vikings RB Ties Record of Vikings Legend

In the following free agency period, McKinnon signed with the Chiefs to get his career back on track. He did just that with some impressive performances in the 2021 playoffs and re-signed with Andy Reid’s operation in Kansas City. The former Viking had his big comeback tour in 2022 when he earned a featured role and split running back reps with rookie Isiah Pacheco.

Jan 7, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) celebrates his touchdown scored against the Las Vegas Raiders with guard Andrew Wylie (77) and running back Jerick McKinnon. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

McKinnon scored an outstanding nine receiving touchdowns for the Chiefs in 2022. No running back in the Super Bowl era scored more in a season. He tied a Vikings legend, Chuck Foreman, who had nine receiving touchdowns in just 14 games in the 1975 season. The two other running backs with the same number of touchdowns in a season were Leroy Hoard (also a former Viking) in 1991 and Marshall Faulk in 2001.

Like Foreman, Faulk only needed 14 games. McKinnon set another record when he recorded a receiving touchdown in his sixth straight game, the most by a running back in the Super Bowl era. No other running back has more than four.

Foreman played for the Vikings from 1973 to 1979, scored 23 receiving touchdowns, and added 52 on the ground. He was inducted into the Vikings’ Ring of Honor in 2007. The Vikings legend was ahead of his time with his ability to help the team in the passing game out of the backfield.

Chuck Foreman
Chuck Foreman

McKinnon appeared in 58 games with the Vikings after former GM Rick Spielman selected him in the third round of the 2014 draft. He got many more opportunities than expected in his rookie season because star runner Adrian Peterson was suspended. McKinnon gained 673 scrimmage yards but stayed without a touchdown. In 2015, Peterson returned and led the league in rushing. Therefore, McKinnon didn’t get many touches, and his yards dipped to 444. He scored three times.

In 2016, Peterson again missed most of the season, this time with a knee injury. McKinnon split running back duties with Matt Asiata behind a dreadful offensive line and recorded 794 scrimmage yards and four scores.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Despite the departure of Peterson, McKinnon was close to losing his job in 2017 to rookie Dalvin Cook and free agent addition Latavius Murray. However, Cook tore his ACL in Week 4, and McKinnon was asked to split the running back workload in his absence.

The Vikings relied on his receiving skills, especially in the screen game, which was a significant factor in reaching the NFC title game. McKinnon recorded a career-high 991 scrimmage yards and scored five times.

The former Vikings will begin his playoff journey with the Chiefs in two weeks. His current team finished at the top of the AFC standings and will have a first-round bye week.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt


Source link

Related posts

Explained: Ndamukong Suh’s Potential Fit with the Vikings

12 Snap Reactions after Vikings-Patriots

Vikings Were Kings of New York in 2022

The 3 Big QB Rumors in the Vikings Orbit This Week

Vikings Fans Head to the Mattresses after Loss to DAL

Load the Box: Previewing Monday Night Football!