Photo via Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Now, now, I know what you are probably thinking.
At this point, there is nothing Travis Kelce of the Kansas Chiefs can do that can truly “surprise” you. When you have the best signal-caller out of the gun in Patrick Mahomes throwing to you, good things generally happen. The team won Super Bowl LIV, after all.
The current course of the 2020 season, however, might have quelled this notion in regard to the 31-year-old product out of the University of Cincinnati.
Although Kelce “only” caught for 82 yards in Kansas City’s most recent game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the blocking, screening and pass-catching stalwart has potentially put together his best season in an already stout NFL career.
Over the course of 11 games played this season, Kelce has amassed seven touchdowns for 978 yards on 74 receptions. In total, he has been targeted 98 times. Kelce’s seven touchdowns are tied for 10th among all players who have caught a pass in the NFL this season, while his 74 receptions and 98 targets are tied for fifth and ninth, respectively. His 978 yards, arguably, is the most impressive feat, though, as it ranks third in the entire NFL, behind only D.K. Metcalf (1,039) and Kansas City teammate Tyreek Hill (1,021).
While the numbers are definitely impressive from an overall pass-catching standpoint, Kelce stands out even more when looking at his playing position. While none of those numbers rank first from an overall standpoint, they are either tied for first (touchdowns with Robert Tonyan and Jonnu Smith) or rank first (yards, receptions and targets) among all NFL tight ends.
From a career and franchise standpoint, Kelce continues to show out. Should Kelce continue at his current pace, he would finish the season with 1,423 yards, 108 receptions, 143 targets and 10 touchdowns. The target total would rank second in Kelce’s eight-year NFL career (150 in 2018), while his touchdown total would be tied for first (2018). His yard and reception totals, meanwhile, would both be career-highs.
From an overall franchise history standpoint, Kelce, again, shows his excellence. Among all Kansas City tight ends’ production in a single season, Kelce’s 2020 season, as it stands, would be tied for seventh in terms of touchdowns and additionally rank ninth in terms of yards, 11th in terms of receptions and 17th in terms of targets. Should Kelce reach his projected totals, his 2020 season would rank first in terms of yards and receptions and rank in the top five in terms of touchdowns and targets, to boot. What makes this even more impressive is the fact that Tony Gonzalez, the NFL’s third all-time leader in receptions and the most among tight ends, spent 12 years of his career with the Chiefs.
Consistency has always been the name of the game for Kelce. Consistency, to a degree, cannot be as eye-popping or as surprising as other high-octane and highlight-reel-caliber production from other players.
Kelce, however, has gone against the grain and has shown that, consistency can make a difference.
A potential career year for the ages can also help make a case, too.