When Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce retires he will easily go down as not only one of the best tight ends of all time, but one of the greatest offensive players to grace the gridiron. His resume and career accolades speak for themselves and he will only continue to add on in the coming years.
Kelce has also been a thorn in the side of many teams over his years in Kansas City as he’s practically uncoverable and the Chiefs’ AFC West foes can attest to that as they have to face him twice a year. Kelce’s dominance has been a large part as to how the Chiefs have cruised past the division every year.
Now, it’s not like there was ever any questioning the fact that Travis Kelce is unstoppable and in most instances, inevitable. However, the Los Angeles Chargers drafted college football sensation and elite defensive back prospect Derwin James Jr. out of Florida State a few years ago and he had a good showing guarding Kelce his rookie year.
The word is out that Derwin James can slow Travis Kelce, but the numbers show pure dominance from the Chiefs tight end.
Since then, there’s been this narrative that Derwin James is somewhat of a “Travis Kelce stopper”. Granted, James is a fantastic talent and can hold his own against Travis Kelce — for the most part.
That said, the idea that James is such a tough matchup for Kelce doesn’t add up given the success Kelce has had against the Chargers. Sure, James has struggled with injuries throughout his career, but he’s been active in four out of the last five matchups against the Chiefs and his presence hasn’t stopped Kelce much over that span.
In Kelce’s last five games vs the Chargers, he’s recorded 37 catches for 551 yards and 6 TDs. I’m not going to pretend to know whether or not James has even been matched up with Kelce a majority of the time, but if James was as good at locking up Kelce as many say, why don’t the Chargers have James shadow him more often? Either the Chargers don’t use James correctly or his presence is massively overstated. He surely didn’t affect him at all on Kelce’s game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter during the Chiefs win in Week 11.
People can say Derwin James this or Derwin James that or talk about how he is a great matchup against Kelce, but the fact of the matter is Kelce has absolutely dominated the Chargers in recent memory and that’s the only thing people care about. After Kelce went for another 100+ yards and 3 TDs against Los Angeles on Sunday night, I think it’s time we put away the whole “Travis Kelce stopper” bit that the Chargers think they possess.
You can’t stop Travis Kelce.