Seven catches. Twenty-five yards. And 24 points.
That was tight end Travis Kelce’s final stat line on a chaotic Monday night in which some short gains added up to a big win.
Kelce tallied a career-high four touchdown receptions to key the Kansas City Chiefs’ 30-29 win over the Las Vegas Raiders in which they rallied back from a 17-point deficit.
“I just worked my tail off for these guys and ran tonight,” Kelce told ESPN’s Lisa Salters after the game. “That’s all I did for [Chiefs] Kingdom. They showed up, showed out on a Monday night, knowing everybody’s got work tomorrow and they were in here loud and proud.”
Though Monday night’s game was an instant classic, Kelce’s line was hardly ordinary fare.
Kelce became the first player in NFL history to record four receiving touchdowns of fewer than 10 yards in a game, according to NFL Research. And before Monday evening, Marvin Jones, in 2019 with the Detroit Lions, held the record for the fewest receiving yards (93) by a player to catch four TDs, per NFL Research. Kelce set a new standard by 68 yards.
“They were trying to take Kelce out of the game,” Chiefs head coach Reid said after the game. “I mean he had 25 yards and four touchdowns. So, I mean that’s a pretty good day, but kind of a weird number.”
A weird stat line, indeed, but Kelce making an impact for the Chiefs is hardly strange.
Kelce, who tied the Chiefs’ franchise record with a catch in 131 straight games, has been a constant season after season, building a rapport with Patrick Mahomes that’s rarely seen and marveled at by their future Hall of Fame head coach.
“They work so well together,” Reid said. “How they play off of each other, I think, is big. That doesn’t always happen in this league where you find a guy that you have that mojo with there — whatever you want to term it.”
Though those 25 yards were on the low end for Kelce — his lowest output since Week 17 of last year, in fact — the four TDs matched a franchise record. More than all that, they keyed a resounding Chiefs comeback.
“Just keep fighting,” said Kelce of the message after the team fell behind, 17-0, in the second stanza. “We know what’s real. We got a great team. We know we got a lot of heart in the Chiefs locker room. We just keep bringing it every single day and you’ll see it in games like that.”
On an 11-play, 75-yard odyssey of a drive, Kelce had just one catch, but it was good for a touchdown to get the Chiefs on the board in the second quarter.
Contributors were myriad for the Chiefs, but it was within the sure hands of Kelce and the shaky right foot of kicker Matthew Wright that Kansas City got all its points.
Kelce’s second touchdown catch — this one from 3 yards — cut the Chiefs’ deficit to 20-17 in the third quarter.
Later in the third, Kelce scored on a touchdown that registered as 8 yards in the box score, but in which he traveled 52.7 yards from snap to score, according to Next Gen Stats. Lined up outside the left tackle on the play, Kelce crossed all the way to the right, where he caught Mahomes’ pass and then reversed field all the way to the left side to score.
He wasn’t done of course. There was still the matter of the 1-yard game-winner with 7:25 to play.
In a wild, wild AFC West showdown, the Raiders and Chiefs went down to the wire.
And it was Kelce’s seven catches for 25 yards and 24 points that stood as the difference.
“It was a fun game, to see everyone rally together like that and being down 17, nobody cracked, you didn’t see doubt in nobody’s eyes,” Kelce said. “All it did was just build a beast and it made us kind of rally together, and circle the wagons in a way and fight for each other. When you see that of us, we know we can play some good football when we have that mentality.”
Source: Read Full Article