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Isiah Pacheco reacts to underdog Kansas City Chiefs going to the Super Bowl: ‘We knew we had doubters’

Isiah Pacheco is heading back to the Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs. The former Rutgers running back said Sunday’s win in the AFC Championship Game was an answer to those who had buried the Chiefs earlier this season.

This will mark two Super Bowl appearances for Pacheco in what is now his second year in the NFL. The 2022 seventh-round pick out of Rutgers earned the starting running back job midway through his rookie season and hasn’t looked back.

On Sunday, he had a second-quarter touchdown to help lift the Chiefs to a win at the Baltimore Ravens.

And despite a midseason swoon, the Chiefs are back in the Super Bowl with a performance that Pacheco said should answer any critics.

“It’s the goal and the mindset, it came with practice – we knew we had doubters,” Pacheco told FOX after the game.

“Just eliminate it, just go in as a unit and come in with one goal and purpose to get the victory.”

Pacheco on Sunday had 68 rushing yards on 24 carries with a second-quarter touchdown.

“What impressed me most is the determined mindset of the leaders. You got guys going out there, it’s a long season,” Pacheco said after the game.

“Guys playing hurt, finding a way, eliminating distractions, the pain and just figuring it out and giving it your all. That’s what it takes”

AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Taylor Swift and Ross Travis look on during the second quarter…

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Taylor Swift and Ross Travis look on during the second quarter in the AFC Championship Game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium on January 28, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs takes the field…

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs takes the field prior to the AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on January 28, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs takes the field…

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs takes the field prior to the AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on January 28, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a…

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 28, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a…

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 28, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs rushes for a…

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs rushes for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 28, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a…

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 28, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a…

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 28, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs is tackled by…

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs is tackled by Travis Jones #98 of the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 28, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a…

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 28, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs is wrapped up…

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs is wrapped up by Kyle Hamilton #14 of the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 28, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs is helped up…

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs is helped up during the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 28, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs hands off to…

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs hands off to Isiah Pacheco #10 during the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 28, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs is hit by…

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 28: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs is hit by Kyle Van Noy #50 of the Baltimore Ravens during the third quarter in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 28, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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NFL: AFC Championship-Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) carries the…

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) carries the ball as Baltimore Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton (14) defends during the first half in the AFC Championship football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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NFL: AFC Championship-Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) looks on…

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) looks on from the field during a stoppage in play in the first half in the AFC Championship football game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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NFL: AFC Championship-Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) tumbles after…

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) tumbles after catching a pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half in the AFC Championship football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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NFL: AFC Championship-Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) catches a…

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) catches a pass in front of Baltimore Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton (14) during the first half in the AFC Championship football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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NFL: AFC Championship-Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) tumbles after…

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) tumbles after catching a pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half in the AFC Championship football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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NFL: AFC Championship-Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) carries the…

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) carries the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half in the AFC Championship football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire