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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Natalie Miller

Chiefs rookies put on a show in playoff win vs. Jaguars

The Kansas City Chiefs have proven time and time again to be one of the elite teams in the modern NFL.

With a top-shelf coaching staff, and a roster already loaded with blue-chip talent on both sides of the ball, the Chiefs hardly needed huge contributions from this year’s rookie class.

However, Kansas City’s first-year players showed up in a big way in the divisional playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and were key in coming away with a win in a down-to-the-wire contest.

It started (and perhaps finished) with the incredible talents of seventh-round running back Isiah Pacheco, who lead the team in rushing. The Rutgers product had over 100 scrimmage yards on the day, including breaking off a 39-yard run to put the Chiefs down at the one-yard line late in the second quarter. Pacheco became key in grinding it out on the ground against the Jacksonville defense.

Two rookie members of the secondary also showed up huge for the Chiefs, as both Trent McDuffie and Jaylen Watson had impressive games in the biggest moments.

Watson, yet another seventh-rounder, broke up two passes, and came up with an incredible one-handed interception to put a dagger in the game late into the fourth quarter. First-rounder McDuffie was a lock-down corner all game long, only allowing one catch for seven yards against one of the best passing attacks in the league.

The Chiefs are proving that finding starters and depth late into the draft is invaluable in this league, as playmakers at any level are hard to find. These rookies will once again need a huge showing if they want to help carry Kansas City to the Super Bowl against the red-hot Cincinnati Bengals.

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