KC Chiefs Stock Watch, Week 15: Kadarius Toney continues to disappoint

Chiefs take care of business against the lowly Patriots on the road, but left a lot to be desired

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages
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Stock Down: Travis Kelce

Father Time may not have knocked Travis Kelce down for the count yet, but, man, does he have him on the ropes. Kelce is fixing to eclipse the 1000-yard for the eighth straight year and is still a force to be reckoned with when he isn't the first, second, and third focus of opposing defenses. What I saw from him today, however, put into stark relief how close to the end of Kelce's career we may be experiencing.

The Chiefs were driving into the Patriots' red zone on the first drive coming out of the half. Kelce, as he so often does, found himself a little bit of space between the zones, and Mahomes found him. New England safety Kyle Duggar was coming in to dislodge Kelce from the ball. But this is the NFL in 2023. You can't make that big of a hit on a receiver like that, so we all know Kelce is coming down with six.

Until he didn't. Kelce alligator-armed the ball and braced himself for the hit instead of taking the hit he would get anyway and coming away with the touchdown. Kelce came back to make a three-yard catch on the next play and again found his number called on third down. This time, he was matched up with another Pats defender who was getting into his space. Instead of trying to beat the defender, Kelce just fell, trying to draw a flag that would not come. The Chiefs would settle for a field goal.

That sequence of plays and the subsequent screenshots of Kelce looking like he would rather be anywhere else made me realize that we are witnessing the twilight of Kelce's career. He has already suffered several injuries this year that have kept him out of a few games. On the field, he is a couple of steps slow and is different from the guy he has been in years past. Even in his current form, Kelce is still one of the best tight ends in the league, but his days are officially numbered. The Chiefs will have to figure something out sooner rather than later.