ALABAMA - If you are a quarterback and you win the Super Bowl, you are almost guaranteed to also earn the MVP. Other, less-glamorous positions have it a lot harder. One of the hardest positions, running backs are often overshadowed when it comes to their importance to winning football games. Kansas City Chiefs' RB, Isiah Pacheco, is one of those really good runners that facilitates Patrick Mahomes' offense.
Pacheco, of Puerto Rican descent, has been a breath of fresh air for the Chiefs since he joined the team in 2022. He has been key for the' offense, especially during the postseason, as only Patrick Mahomes (458) has rushed for more yards in the playoffs than Pacheco (451) in franchise history.
This year, Pacheco arrives to the Super Bowl LVIII as the player with the most rushing attempts this postseason (63) and has rushed the ball more times than San Francisco's star do-it-all Christian McCaffrey over the past two postseasons (100).
He will be one of five Latinos involved in this year's Super Bowl (four players and one coach) who will have the opportunity to join the selected club of the members of this demographic to win a ring. Pacheco will have the chance to win his second Vince Lombardi Trophy after doing so last season with the Chiefs.
The San Francisco 49ers will count with four Latinos in their sideline. Center Jonathan Feliciano, offensive lineman Alfredo Gutierrez and linebacker Fred Warner will all take the field this Sunday, while offensive assistant Miguel Reveles will do his part from the coaches booth.
Even though Pacheco has been a focal point of the Chiefs offense so far, he still faces a tough competition for Super Bowl MVP, with players such as Travis Kelce and McCaffrey guaranteed to steal the spotlight. One thing Pacheco can do is keep on being tough, especially against a really competitive Niners defense.
According to NFL's Next Gen Stats, Pacheco led the NFL in yards per carry against stacked boxes (8+ defenders) during the regular season and has continued to do so this postseason, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.
An explosive running back, Pacheco could be the key to opening the game up through big plays. His 48-yard rush against the Jets in October is a clear example of that. He reached a top speed of almost 20 mph and had a TD probability of 0.5%, the most improbable TD run of his career.
He will need more runs like that if he wants to go home with another Super Bowl trophy under his belt and with a potential MVP award too. In the history of Super Bowls, only seven running backs have been named Super Bowl MVP, with Denver Broncos Terrell Davis being the last one to receive the honor during Super Bowl XXXII in 1998. In contrast, a quarterback has won the award in 32 of the previous 57 occasions.
For sportsbooks in Vegas, Pacheco has somewhat of a realistic chance of winning MVP honors. According to FanDuel, Pacheco enters the game with the fifth-best odds to win Super Bowl MVP (+25000), tied with Niners star WR Deebo Samuel and only behind Mahomes (+150), San Francisco's QB Brock Purdy (+210), McCaffrey (+450) and Kelce (+1400).
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