The Kansas City Chiefs went on the road to take on Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round of the playoffs on Sunday. The narratives for this week stacked up quickly—from Mahomes' first postseason road game to the resurgence of the second-half Bills. But one question that has been asked this week—and really for much of the season—was about the continued effectiveness of Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
The Divisional Round showed Chiefs Kingdom that Kelce is still here, that he is still the weapon the Chiefs need to continue their postseason run to their sixth consecutive AFC Championship game. For that contest, they'll head to Baltimore to play the number one seed Baltimore Ravens led by Lamar Jackson.
The Chiefs went into the hostile environment of Buffalo and came away with the 27-24 victory as Travis Kelce stamped his name in the history books in multiple spots on this magical night in New York. Kelce would finish the night with 5 receptions on 6 targets for 75 yards and 2 critical touchdowns.
Kelce's new postseason records
One of the records Kelce broke is shared with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Both players now hold the record for the most postseason touchdowns by the quarterback-receiver duo in NFL history. NFL fans grew up watching the devastating duo of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in the playoffs, but now that crown is worn by Chiefs Kingdom's own Kelce and Mahomes. I have a strange feeling this record will be extended in the weeks (and seasons) to come.
Since Mahomes came into the league, Kelce has been his number-one target, and the duo has always turned the jets on in the playoffs, and this year has been no different. If you asked Kelce about the record, he would not pay much attention to it, because he only cares about his impact on the game. Fortunately, his two touchdowns came at critical points against Buffalo.
Late in the second half, the Chefs were down by four and had not scored a touchdown despite making two trips to the red zone. With less than three minutes left in the half, Mahomes dropped back and delivered a pass to a wide open Travis Kelce for the first Chiefs touchdown on a 22-yard reception, giving the Chiefs the 13-10 lead. Kelce would then launch the ball into the upper deck of the stands while giving his fans some love.
The Josh Allen-led Bills took the ball next, marched down the field, and scored a touchdown to go up 17-13 at the half. The Chiefs deferred after winning the opening coin toss, meaning they would get the ball coming out of halftime. The Chiefs offense came out of the locker room and marched down the field, but it was the Great Travis "Big Yeti" Kelce who ultimately punched it in for a touchdown after he caught a screen pass from Mahomes from the 3-yard line.
That touchdown not only gave the Chiefs a 20-17 lead but also recorded Travis Kelce's 18th career postseason touchdown reception. That reception extends the Chief's franchise record but also places him in second place in the history books behind Hall of Famer wide receiver Jerry Rice, who hauled in 22 postseason touchdowns. Kelce has a chance to end the 2023 season with the most postseason touchdown receptions ever.
Kelce has given Chiefs fans some of the biggest moments in our lives, and his performance in Buffalo in the divisional round has cemented him as one of the greatest Chiefs players of all time, but also one of the greatest tight ends of all time. Kelce also made sure to show the Buffalo Bills fans some love as the Chiefs took their final plays in the victory formation.
There has been a lot said about Kelce's future. He is dating one of the most famous people in the world, the New Heights podcast is one of the hottest on the web, and rumors of his brother Jason Kelce's retirement have forced people to ask if this would be his last year. Travis has said he has "no desire to stop anytime soon," but if this were his final season, Chiefs Kingdom would remember him as the best.