Retired Running Back for the Kansas City Chiefs
Christian Okoye Speaker Profile
Christian Okoye was born August 16, 1961 in Enugu, Nigeria and is a former American Football running back for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1987 to 1992. Nicknamed "The Nigerian Nightmare," Okoye's six seasons in the NFL saw a league rushing title in 1989, two Pro Bowl appearances (1989, 1991), and three playoff appearances. He voluntarily ended his NFL career due to multiple injuries. He wore number 35.
Okoye's NFL career was as brief as it was prolific. In his rookie year, Okoye rushed for 660 yards on 157 carries; and though a thumb injury limited him to nine games, he managed to gain 473 yards the following season.
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.
The remainder of Okoye's career was marked by a nagging knee injury, one which limited him to 805 yards and a 3.3 yard average per carry in 1990. Though his 1991 performance (1,031 yards, 4.6 yards per carry) earned him his second Pro Bowl appearance, Okoye's carries in 1992 were largely limited to goal-line situations.
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. His 40 career rushing touchdowns as a member of the Chiefs trail only Holmes and Marcus Allen. His Chiefs records for carries in a game and rushing attempts in a season were recently surpassed by Larry Johnson. Okoye was the team MVP in 1989, and was enshrined in the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2000.
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Posted on 25 October 2012 | 6:13 pm
Former NFL running back Christian Okoye was known as the "Nigerian Nightmare," known for his powerful running style and ability to break tackles. He led the league in rushing yards in 1989, ultimately retiring in 1992 after suffering a number of injuries. If you've ever played Tecmo Bowl or are a fan of Okoye, you won't want to miss the newest episode of NFL Films Presents. The… [Read More]
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