KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The arguable greatest of all time at his position, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce made many crucial plays in the AFC Championship, but one catch stood out more than others.
Kelce impressively kept a first-half drive alive against the Baltimore Ravens, marching to one of only two Chiefs touchdowns.
The same can be said for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who, on a third down play in the second quarter threw a pass his tight end with the Ravens defense draping him.
“Scrambling for his life, gets his legs chopped out from under him and throws something just to get the ball out of his hands so he doesn’t take a sack,” Kelce said on the latest New Heights podcast with his brother, Jason Kelce.
Before the snap took place, Mahomes changed the play to something Kelce didn’t agree with.
“Big third down play and Pat changed the play,” Kelce said. “In my mind, I was like, ‘I don’t know if we should change this play’.”
“That’s not how you play football ladies and gentlemen. You have to listen to the guy, he’s got the keys to the car, he’s steering the ship, you got to listen to the guy.”
“And I was just like, I don’t like it,” Kelce reiterated shaking his head. “Sure enough, he’s pump-faking, trying to find me coming over the middle of the field.”
“At that point, in my head I’m like, ‘I got to make a play.’ I’m just out here’s looking like an (A)-hole not running the right route for him in the biggest game of the year.”
Kelce made up for not being on the same page as his QB with an athletic diving grab to save a drive that surely would have ended with a punt on the next play had he not made the catch.
“Pat thanks for giving me a chance baby. I love you man,” Travis said.
Jason was quick to laude his brother and Mahomes on their incredible connection.
“You ran the wrong route, whatever,” Jason said. “You ended up with a big conversion on third down that was a huge part of this game. This is one of the things that make your and Pat’s connection so electric. Your guys’ ability to freelance, both of you are so good at that.”
“Pat is probably one of the best improvisers I’ve ever seen play the game at the quarterback position,” he continued.
Kelce led all Chiefs and Ravens receivers in the AFC Championship with 11 catches for 116 yards and added a touchdown.
“It was probably one of your best performances ever, which is crazy because you’ve had some unbelievable ones,” Jason said.
Kelce has played in 21 total playoff games. He broke the legendary Jerry Rice’s all-time playoff reception record and is a little over 400 yards receiving away from breaking another Jerry Rice playoff record.
He’s totaled 156 grabs, 1,810 yards and 19 touchdowns in the playoffs. All but one of those scores came from Patrick Mahomes’ hand.
In the 17 playoff games with Mahomes, Kelce has 133 catches, 1,516 yards and 18 touchdowns.
He’s likely just one more long playoff run away from shattering the playoff receiving record books.