After opening night win over Patriots, Chiefs make a Sports Illustrated cover

One of the covers of the Sept. 18 issue of Sports Illustrated.
One of the covers of the Sept. 18 issue of Sports Illustrated. Twitter via @SInow

That’s Kareem Hunt stretching the football inside the pylon at the end of his 4-yard touchdown run against the Patriots on the cover of the Sept. 18 Sports Illustrated.

It’s one of two covers for the national sports magazine. The other features U.S. Open women’s champion Sloane Stephens.

The Hunt image accompanies a story, “Backs in Style, The Ground Game’s Next Gen Breaks Through.”

On an opening weekend when three rookie running backs surpassed 100 rushing yards — the Minnesota Vikings’ Dalvin Cook rushed for 127 yards in Monday’s victory over New Orleans, and the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Leonard Fournette gained 100 yards in a victory at Houston.

But statistically, no back in history had a better debut than Hunt, who rushed for 148 yards and one touchdown and caught five passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs’ 42-27 victory over the New England Patriots last Thursday. His 246 yards from scrimmage were the most in an NFL debut.

The effort earned Hunt a Sports Illustrated cover, a keepsake, and Hunt even got a few extra yards out of the deal. The cover, posted on Sports Illustrated’s Twitter account @SInow, credits Hunt with 264 yards from scrimmage.

Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt fumbled away his first NFL rushing attempt. Then he became amazing with 246 total yards and three touchdowns in Chiefs' 43-27 victory.

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff