While they are often overshadowed by their AFC West brethren the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders, the Kansas City Chiefs have a fine history in their own right. While the Chiefs have not advanced to the Super Bowl since the 1960’s, they have been blessed with some outstanding players especially at the running back position. The following list constitutes the five best running backs in Kansas City Chiefs History. While the list will surely leave off some outstanding talents, the following five players have truly set themselves apart.
1. Anthony “Priest” Holmes- After starting his career as an undrafted free agent in Baltimore, Priest Holmes joined the Chiefs in 2001. One of the top Fantasy Football options in an era when Fantasy Football was not the massive industry it is today, Holmes ran for over 8,000 yards in his career and 86 touchdowns. While he was often overshadowed by division rival, Ladainian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers, Holmes was arguably the most dynamic back in the entire National Football League in the early 2000’s.
2. Marcus Allen- While his early work with the Oakland/LA Raiders is what made him a legend, Marcus Allen was an effective running back for the Chiefs from 1993-1997. 44 of Allen’s 123 career rushing touchdowns came while he was in a Chiefs uniform. These numbers are even more impressive considering Allen scored 11 rushing touchdowns in 1997 at the age of 37.
3. Larry Johnson- During the 2005 and 2006 seasons there was no better running back in the NFL than Larry Johnson. A first round draft pick out of Penn State, Johnson played for the Chiefs from 2003 through 2007 and managed to rush for over 6,000 yards and 55 touchdowns in his career. Johnson’s 2005 season was one of the best single seasons by a running back in NFL History. In that year, Johnson managed to rush for 1,750 yards and 20, yes 20 touchdowns, all while averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
4. Christian Okoye- While his name might be unfamiliar for younger NFL fans, Christian Okoye AKA the Nigerian Nightmare was one of the most feared running backs in the NFL in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. While many only remember him for taking a gruesome hit on Monday Night Football at the hands of the Denver Broncos hard hitting safety, Steve Atwater, Okoye ran for nearly 5,000 yards in his NFL career and 40 touchdowns. Okoye’s signature season took place in 1989, a year in which he ran for 1480 yards and 12 touchdowns. At 6’1 and 253 pounds, Okoye was one of the toughest running backs to take down in the entire NFL during his heyday.
5.Jamaal Charles- While injuries have derailed him as of late, and his best days are likely behind him, Jamaal Charles will go down in history as one of the most explosive backs in the history of the NFL. If he never plays any down of football, Charles will retire with over 7,200 rushing yards, 64 touchdowns, and a 5.5 yards per carry average that ranks among the best in NFL History.