Travis Kelce has always been good with the ball in his hands. Now, the premier run-after-catch tight end in the NFL has upgraded his game.
Last week against Denver, Kelce set the Chiefs' record for receiving yards in a game by a tight end with 160. Anytime someone blasts past records set by future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, praise is warranted.
With a week to go, Kelce has already set career highs in receiving yards (1,117) and receptions (84).
"You're getting the full gamut of his skills."
Kelce has earned 100-plus receiving yards in six games this season, the most by a tight end since at least 1999. Those six contests of 100-plus receiving yards are tied for second most among all players -- Julio Jones has seven such games.
Kelce leads all tight ends in receptions (84) and receiving yards this season and trails only Greg Olsen for the highest percentage of a team's targets (22.6 percent) and receptions (24.4 percent) among tight ends, per NFL Research.
"It's an isolation play -- if we get that look and the guy crashes it's him and me on the edge," Smith explained of his touchdown scamper. "[Kelce] is a premier catching tight end in the league and to have two huge blocks like that to spring guys -- huge block on Tyreek's run as well that got that going -- he does a lot for us.
"When you have those things from your key players on your team and in your locker room, those things rub off-those effort plays and guys giving it up. He's special. I do think he's ascending and getting better, but for him to do that I think sets a great example for the whole team."