Travis Kelce earns positive grade despite Chiefs loss to Raiders

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 11: The Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs prepare for the snap during the first quarter at Arrowhead Stadium on October 11, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 11: The Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs prepare for the snap during the first quarter at Arrowhead Stadium on October 11, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Let’s hand out game grades and name the MVP from the first Chiefs loss of the season.

Yikes! This is a perfect example of why it is nearly impossible to go 19-0 in today’s NFL—any given Sunday. The Chiefs did not have their “A” game in this one and truly looked bad at times.

From the defense giving up massive plays reminiscent of 2018 to the offense getting demolished by the Raiders defensive line, this one wasn’t ideal. I’ll be handing out game grades and naming the game’s MVP for the Chiefs, but it almost feels weird doing it after a loss.

Travis Kelce – A-

Let’s at least start with a positive. After Raiders linebacker Cory Littleton said that he could stop Kelce, he was found out. It turns out he could not stop him. Going for 108 yards on 8 catches with a touchdown, the Chiefs tight end was a huge factor on offense especially doing a great job of redirecting when quarterback Patrick Mahomes was forced to scramble. Kelce also had a couple of really impactful blocks in this game, which I’m sure made all 49ers fans bring up Kittle for no reason. (It’s a joke. I get that I just brought up Kittle, 49ers fans. Relax.)

One thing that I noticed was that he was seemingly absent at times, which is weird to say about a dude who had 8 catches. Deon Yelder looked like he had more snaps than usual and, at times, Kelce looked like he was going through the motions, especially late. He obviously made some outstanding plays in this game, and he had the touchdown catch that brought the Chiefs to a one-possession game late, but he has had better, more complete games before.

For almost any other tight end this would be an amazing game, but we have extremely high standards for the best tight end in football.

Speaking of broken records, Kelce moved into second place on the Chiefs all-time reception list behind Tony Gonzalez. Still has a long way to go to claim that top spot, but the Chiefs should keep force-feeding Kelce the ball for the sake of the offense—and my fantasy football team.

Bashaud Breeland – B

Welcome back, Breeland!

After starting off relatively strong, Breeland was really a mixed bag in his first game back from suspension. He had an outstanding interception after baiting Derek Carr into a bad throw, but he also got trucked and struggled to bring guys down at times. While I can’t fault him too much for struggling to bring the larger Alec Ingold (Raiders fullback) down, he could have taken a better angle in that situation. He did make a great play on 3rd down late to force a 4th down.

I think it is great to have Breeland back and the secondary’s collapse is not on him. He will get better as the season progresses since he had no real training camp and got thrown into the fire in Week 5.

Quick note, a weird storyline coming from the game was the apparent tweet from his account mid-game that was quickly deleted. Not a great look.

Charvarius Ward – D 

If you have ever listened to me on the radio, either on Sports Radio 810 or ESPN Kansas City, you know I have been on the Ward train since day 1 against Seattle. This was not his day. I know the hand is affecting him and can be extremely bothersome, but you can’t blame the hand for getting burnt multiple times.

Ward really struggled whether he was up against someone like Henry Ruggs or Darren Waller. He just seemed to be off. I’ll chalk it up as an outlier game and not a step back from his insane progress. I still beleive he is the best corner on the team, and I think he’ll bounce back in a meaningful way next week.

Offensive Line – D-

I get it: Patrick Mahomes isn’t the easiest guy to block for since he likes to move around so much and tends to drift back farther than most QBs, but this one is on the line. Mahomes was constantly under pressure, especially in the second half, and was forced to escape the pocket to try and make something happen on nearly every single play.

With Kelechi Osemele going down early with a knee injury, Mike Remmers came in and didn’t look great as his replacement. From penalties bringing back touchdowns to opening very few holes for Clyde Edwards-Helaire, they are too talented to let this happen.

Both Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher struggled in this game which cannot happen if this unit expects to perform at high level. Mahomes only took 3 sacks in this game, but if you switch him for Joe Flacco, that number might jump to double-digits.

Going forward, the loss of Osemele is huge as he was really making a difference this year, especially in the run game. However, the Chiefs still have talent and some decent depth. I expect Remmers to get another crack at it and, as a veteran, having time in practice should improve his performance. Let’s just try and forgot about this game and move on to the Buffalo Bills.

Tyreek Hill – MVP 

Tyreek Hill made two of the most insane catches you’ll see and only one counted. His first unbelievable catch would have been a touchdown but was called back on a penalty. Mahomes threw the ball 65 yards in the air as Hill burned past two guys to come down with a ridiculous catch that I would assume 95 percent of players drop even if they could put themselves in that position. The other one was a toe tapper on the sideline that showed off Hill’s awareness and concentration that can sometimes go unnoticed.

Hill ended the day with only 3 catches for 78 yards, but the plays he did make were extremely effective. He also chipped in a touchdown on the ground. Getting Hill the ball is always a smart idea and seeing him get three carries in this game is something I am all for.

With Clyde Edwards-Helaire, as well as the O-line, struggling in this game, letting Hill get the ball to see what he can do just makes sense. Hill’s performance could have been massive if not for that penalty. Since it wasn’t on him, I don’t want to dock him too much, especially with the lack of other players stepping up in this one.

Let’s hope the Chiefs, especially the defense and offensive line, step up next week and get back on the right track. At the end of the day, there’s no shame being 4-1 after the first 5 games.

Next. The Chiefs have been bad more than good in 2020. dark