KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) — Travis Kelce turned 34 on Oct. 5 and has since had the best three-game stretch of his career, the highlight being his 12-catch, 179-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Andy Reid, the Chiefs’ coach, explained that Kelce is improving with age. He acknowledged that it could be the Taylor Swift effect. Kelce was in attendance at a Kansas City Chiefs game for the fourth time this season, and she has averaged more than twice as many yards when she is present as when she is not.
“Taylor can stay around all she wants,” Reid said following the Chiefs’ 31-17 victory. In any case, Kelce has performed admirably in the three games, catching 31 passes against the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, and Los Angeles Chargers.
“You can know what he’s going to run and still can’t stop it,” Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling explained.
Kelce doesn’t always know what route he’s going to run before the play, according to quarterback Patrick Mahomes. He has the ability to change his route versus specific coverages, which he did several times against the Chargers.
“The main thing is the way he’s able to recognize coverage and adjust on the fly,” Mahomes said in an interview. “We always talk about it, but it’s not something you should take for granted.” He almost appears to be playing Madden. He can read the coverage, stop in the windows, keep the windows open, and be on the same page as me at all times, so he performed an excellent job.
“It seems like he does it week in and week out and that’s why he’s the player that he is and he’ll be a Hall of Famer one day.”
Kelce sat out the Chiefs’ season opener against the Detroit Lions last month. In the six games since, he has 48 catches, which is tied for the most in NFL history for a tight end in the first six games.
Mahomes didn’t deny that Kelce had improved with age in some areas.
“The way he’s able to recognize coverages is probably even better,” Mahomes was quoted as saying. “He’s played against every single team and every coverage and every way to try to take him away and so he’s able to recognize that and then dissect it on the fly.”
Mahomes couldn’t help but poke fun at Kelce. In the second quarter, the two connected on a 53-yard throw, with Kelce collecting a short pass and taking it to the Chargers’ 6, where he was tackled.
Regardless, the KC Chiefs scored on the next play.
“Younger Trav would have scored on that one touchdown,” Mahomes stated in a statement. “I’ll say it.” But, aside from that, I think he’s doing a wonderful job of opening himself up and having these monster games.”