Travis Kelce enjoyed quite the Sunday afternoon. The Kansas City Chiefs tight end set two NFL records, all in one game, helping his team clinch the top seed and home-field advantage in the playoffs.
Early in Kansas City’s 17-14 victory against Atlanta, Kelce became the first tight end in history to register multiple seasons with at least 100 receptions.
Then, Travis Kelce broke the record for most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season. He broke the record previously owned by George Kittle, San Francisco’s star tight end and a good friend of Kelce’s. The two are the highest-paid tight ends in the NFL.
Coming into Sunday’s game, Travis Kelce, Kansas City’s third-round pick in 2013, owned terrific numbers, with 98 catches for 1,318 yards. He caught seven passes for 98 yards and a touchdown in the Chiefs win.
What More Records Are Out There For Travis Kelce?
With one game left in the regular season, Kelce has caught 105 passes for 1,416 yards. He also eclipsed 100 passes in 2018 when he caught 103.
Kelce needed only 60 yards to break Kittle’s single-season record of 1,377. Coincidentally, Kittle amassed the yardage in 2018.
The tight end position definitely is enjoying a renaissance as teams adapt a more wide-open approach to offense. In years past, tight ends served as a sixth offensive lineman. They were bigger. They were used mostly to block. And occasionally, a tight end caught a pass for short yardage to convert a third down. NFL teams didn’t put enough value on the position to devote a first-round draft choice to it.
But in Kelce’s case, he’s so nimble that Kansas City coach Andy Reid calls his name for slip screens.
No tight end has ever led the NFL in receiving yards. But Travis Kelce has a chance. Coming into Sunday’s game against Atlanta, Kelce was second to Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins. The Arizona Cardinal wideout also led the league in catches with 111.
The closest a tight end came to leading the league in yardage was in 1980. That’s when former San Diego Charger tight end Kellen Winslow was second with 1,290 receiving yards. Fellow Charger John Jefferson was first with 1,340. Dan Fouts was the San Diego quarterback throwing all those balls as he led the “Air Coryell” offense. The offense was named after Don Coryell, the head coach.
Earlier this month, former Chiefs offensive lineman Jeff Allen tweeted: “Each year Travis Kelce proves he’s the (best) tight end in the game and the national media somehow makes it a debate. Been this way the last five years.”