The Kansas City Chiefs‘ 2022-23 campaign saw many players manage to stand out due to their excellent performance on the field, culminating with a Super Bowl LVII win over the Eagles.
Whether it was Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce or Chris Jones, stars helped elevate Kansas City from one of a few seemingly even-footed contenders in the AFC to the clear contender in the conference.
Offseason acquisitions such as wideouts JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, safety Justin Reid and several others also assisted in that push. To cap things off, general manager Brett Veach’s 2022 rookie class contributed as much as just about any team’s first-year group this season.
It was a true team effort on the Chiefs’ behalf. Now that the season is in the rearview mirror, the Chiefs announced their two major team award winners on Wednesday.
Per the team, Mahomes is the Derrick Thomas MVP winner and running back Isiah Pacheco was named the Mack Lee Hill Rookie of the Year.
These are peer-selected distinctions, as players voted for Mahomes and Pacheco to bring home the honors to cap off what was a historic campaign for the entire squad. Mahomes, this season’s NFL MVP, led the league in passing yards, touchdowns and QBR while also leading the Chiefs to a 14-3 record.
He also recorded a career-high completion percentage of 67.1 and set a new personal best with four fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives.
Mahomes threw touchdowns to 11 different pass-catchers in season No. 5 as the full-time starter, adopting a balanced approach that kept Kansas City in every game it played all year long.
Pacheco generated quite a bit of buzz in training camp after standing out in practice. The seventh-round pick then not only managed to secure the starting halfback job after a handful of weeks, but he ran with it both literally and figuratively.
In 17 games (11 starts), the Rutgers product toted the ball 170 times for 830 yards (4.9 yards-per-carry average) and had five touchdowns.
Over the course of the Chiefs’ playoff run, Pacheco averaged 5.3 yards per rush and worked in conjunction with Jerick McKinnon to provide a solid one-two punch in the backfield.
This is the second time Mahomes has won the Derrick Thomas MVP Award, with 2018 being his first. The Chiefs’ past three winners before Mahomes this year were Tyrann Mathieu in 2021, Kelce in 2020 and Mathieu in 2019. Pacheco follows up Mecole Hardman (2019), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (2020) and Nick Bolton (2021) as this year’s Mack Lee Hill Rookie of the Year.