Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is on a different level than almost every tight end in the history of football. Outside of Tony Gonzalez and Rob Gronkowski, I’m not sure that there’s ever been a more dominant player at his position, and Kelce definitely beats out the latter in terms of durability and longevity.
Kelce is currently tied for seventh all-time among tight ends in terms of total touchdowns and should be in sixth very soon. He also ranks sixth in all-purpose yards among players at his position in the history of the NFL and should be in fourth by the end of the season, if he stays healthy (knock on wood). The craziest part is that he’s still going strong and could very well end up the NFL’s all-time yardage leader among tight ends if he ages similar to Tony Gonzalez (racking up 800+ yard seasons at 36 and 37 years old).
On Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, he racked up eight catches for 121 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. Patrick Mahomes had a 155.8 passer rating when he targeted the future Hall of Fame tight end. Kelce earned the highest PFF offensive grade ($) among all wide receivers and tight ends in Week 1 (with at least 5 targets) at 92.1, including the second highest receiving grade at 90.1, only behind Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson. It looks like Kelce is in line for another Pro Bowl nod and a potential All-Pro season in a year where he’ll turn 33 in about a month.
Travis Kelce had an exceptional performance in Week 1 at Arizona, after he recorded 8 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. He truly is an ageless star.
Travis Kelce is phenomenal and is about as ageless as you’ll ever find in football at his position. After racking up 121 receiving yards in Week 1, he is only 752 yards away from setting the record for most receiving yards by a 33-year-old tight end. 752 yards in 16 games is extremely doable for a superstar who averaged over 1,300 yards per 16 games over the previous two seasons. That means if he can stay healthy, he can see a 30% drop in production and still hit 1,000 receiving yards, blowing the previous record of 752 out of the water.
Players at Travis Kelce’s position don’t normally age this well. Only one tight end in the history of the NFL has ever hit 1,000 receiving yards in a season (Pete Retzlaff in 1965 with 1,190) at 33 or older. Even that record is perfectly within reach for him.
The overall point is that Chiefs fans should not take Travis Kelce’s talent and production for granted. It’s highly unlikely that Kansas City will ever find a tight end at his level once he and the team go their separate ways. It’s also extremely rare that a player, outside of quarterback, offensive lineman, kicker/punter, and maybe safety, is the clear-cut best player at his position. This isn’t normal and the Chiefs should be grateful that Kelce has had great injury luck throughout his career and has only missed one game in his career that wasn’t for rest, and that was Week 16 of last season due to COVID.
Today, Travis Kelce is still the best tight end in football but it won’t always be that way. Chiefs fans need to enjoy this level of dominance before it inevitably ends. If Kansas City wins another Lombardi Trophy this February, it’s likely that #87 will be one of the primary reasons why. But until that time comes, sit back and enjoy the brilliance that is Travis Michael Kelce.