Travis Kelce is on track to put George Kittle in the rearview mirror as soon as this week.
Travis Kelce is having himself a year to remember. Elite production is already a consistent threshold for the Kansas City Chiefs tight end, but this season in particular is not only going to set plenty of personal marks, but it’s entirely possible that he demolishes the current single-season NFL record for most yards by a tight end, currently held by George Kittle.
If that sounds familiar—Kelce setting that particular record—that’s because he already set it for a hot second back in 2018 before Kittle eclipsed the Chiefs tight end that same year to own the record outright. In that season, Kittle was able to somehow rack up more yards than Kelce’s total of 1,336 with his own mark of 1,377 yards. Two years later, Kelce is going to run right over it with plenty of room to spare.
At the present moment, Kelce is just 128 yards off the pace with 90 catches for 1,250 yards and 9 touchdowns. His yardage total is the most in the NFL through Week 14—not just among tight ends but among all pass catchers, a tremendous accomplishment. The Chiefs still play the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, and the L.A. Chargers, which means Kelce has three more games in which to put together a single game total.
To put in perspective how dominant Kelce has been this year, he needs to average just under 43 yards/game from here on out in order to break the record. The average game from Kelce this season is more than two times that total—over 96 yards/game—which means Kelce just needs to be 44 percent as effective as he’s been all year for the last three games in order to best Kittle’s mark.
What’s even more amazing is that Kelce has gotten better as the season has progressed. He had a single game over 100 yards receiving in the first 7 games of 2020. Since then, Kelce has passed the 100-yard receiving total in five of his last six games, the lone exception being an 82-yard performance in which he caught all eight targets against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The bottom line is that the NFL is going to have a new record for tight end production moving forward into 2021, and the bar will be set much higher than it currently is. Travis Kelce is making defenders miss more than ever, which is saying something given his Canton-bound trajectory at present. It will be interesting to see just how high his stats climb by season’s end and what sort of hardware comes with it.