The latest thrilling victory over the Los Angeles Chargers reminded everyone of the greatness that is Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. He added another game-winning touchdown grab at SoFi Stadium to go along with his other two scores earlier in the game, further growing his legend. His game-time heroics helped the Chiefs improve to 8-2, maintaining a solid hold on the AFC West division lead.
Kelce has found a way to be more of a threat this season, his first without Tyreek Hill during the Patrick Mahomes era. His 11 receiving touchdowns are tied for second-most by a tight end through a team’s first ten games all-time.
Despite extra attention from defenses, he’s as productive as ever and that was the case against the Chargers in Week 11 too. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid praised Kelce’s performance on Sunday night during his post-game press conference.
“He battled,” said Reid. “They had a plan for him. They were going to bang him around, and then they put an All-Pro safety on him with number three [Derwin James Jr.]. He had to fight like crazy the whole game and come up with things on the fly to get himself open. It’s a tribute to the Chargers, but it’s also a great tribute to [Travis] Kelce for battling through.”
Kelce finished the game with six catches for 115 yards and three touchdowns. He is currently leading all tight ends this season in catches with 69 and is sixth in receptions amongst all pass catchers.
“I think what is special about him is he just competes,” said Mahomes. “At the end of the day, he’s going to keep fighting until the very end. When you see that, not only is it impressive for him, but it gets other guys going. It shows that he’s one of the best, if not the best, tight end of all time, and he’s coming to work every single day to get better. That shows you whenever you step into the facility, you are like, ‘Man, I got to get to work. If this guy is doing it, I have to be able to at least match that.’ And so that leadership that he brings, as well as the play he brings on the field, is special, and it takes a lot off my shoulders.”
Since Mahomes took the helm as the team’s starting quarterback, the pairing with Kelce has been beyond productive. The All-Pro duo’s unflappable chemistry was discussed by Mahomes in front of reporters Sunday night.
“Obviously, there are a lot of reps, first off. We have played a lot of football together now,” Mahomes said. “I joke around, I am getting old in this locker room now already. We have played a lot of football together. Have done a lot of reps, but he is just a competitor. I’ll say it, I think that’s the best talent that Travis has. Not the size, the speed, the route running. It’s that he will compete to the very end. He’s going to go down fighting. I respect that. I think that I am the same way is that I am going to do whatever I can to win no matter what the score is.”
That competitor’s mentality was on full display during the two-minute drill leading up to Kelce’s game-winning touchdown reception against Derwin James.
“Travis is Travis,” Mahomes said. “He is the greatest tight end of all time. (When) he makes plays like that we win games.”