Nicknamed “The Nigerian Nightmare,” Okoye was known for his powerful running style and ability to break tackles. His career as compared to many other great running backs was short (6 years).Okoye’s six seasons in the NFL saw a league rushing title in 1989, two Pro Bowl appearances (1989, 1991), and three playoff appearances.
In his rookie year, Okoye rushed for 660 yards on 157 carries. The following year, a thumb injury limited him to nine games, and he finished the season with 473 yards.
In 1989, Okoye enjoyed his best NFL season by far, leading the league in both rushing attempts (370) and rushing yards (1,480). Though the Chiefs missed the playoffs, Okoye was selected by UPI as the American Football Conference‘s Offensive Player of the Year and earned a trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl.
Nagging knee injuries shortened his career, yet Okoye retired as the Chiefs’ all-time rushing leader, having amassed 4,897 yards, 1,246 attempts, and 14 games with at least 100 yards rushing, in his six seasons.Those team records have since been surpassed by Priest Holmes.
Smallthoughts:Old School Tuesday spotlights…Christian Okoye.
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