Chiefs’ Kareem Hunt to NFL: ‘Stop sleeping on me’

KC rookie relishes first regular-season game at Arrowhead Stadium

Kansas City running back Kareem Hunt pretends to sleep on the ball as he celebrates a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Judging by the smile on Kareem Hunt’s face, his first regular-season home game Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium is likely one he won’t forget.

 

As Hunt sat in front his locker following the Kansas City’s Chiefs’ 27-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in their home opener, he smiled as he put on his sneakers and contemplated what just happened. Hunt, who was on the cover of last week’s “Sports Illustrated” after his impressive debut at New England, had 13 carries for 82 yards and two touchdowns while also catching three passes for 28 yards against the Eagles.

Already a household name, Hunt rocked the home crowd as he scored on a 53-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that gave the Chiefs a 13-10 lead.

“It’s exciting,” Hunt said. “They weren’t lying about the best crowd in the freaking NFL and I love it. I plan on scoring many more touchdowns here.”

After his first touchdown, Hunt celebrated with the crowd in the back of the end zone. After his second touchdown, which came on a 2-yard plunge late in the fourth quarter, Hunt was a little more animated.

He put the ball down on the ground and put his head on it, like he was taking a nap. The celebration had a purpose. Well, let’s call it a message to the rest of the NFL.

“Stop sleeping on me,” Hunt said. “That’s what I want everybody to know and pretty much what I like doing, scoring touchdowns.”

Just two games into his NFL career, Hunt has racked up 229 yards on 30 carries and has caught nine passes for 126 yards and has scored five total touchdowns.

“I pride myself on being a balanced running back,” Hunt said. “Some speed, some power. Just being able to finish, you just need to fight for every yard.”

The Chiefs (2-0) have definitely showed some fight when their backs were against the wall in the first two weeks of the season. They trailed in the second half in both games, but each time Hunt scored crucial touchdowns to help turn the tide.

In the first half against the Eagles, however, Hunt had just five carries for eight yards before heating up in the second half.

“I thought Kareem and the offensive line kind of got warmed up as we went,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “We weren’t having a ton of production in the first half with the run game. We got it straightened out. The offensive line kept coming and ended up doing a nice job with it. It was important.”

Now the Chiefs will head to Los Angeles next week to play the Chargers, and Hunt can’t wait.

“We have to keep it going and we have to keep winning,” he said.

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