Travis Kelce is a lot of things.  Washing it is not one of them

 – Gudstory

Travis Kelce is a lot of things. Washing it is not one of them – Gudstory

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It’s crazy to think that someone could reach the heights of an NFL general manager — the position solely responsible for making roster and personnel decisions — all while not knowing football.

In sports Weekly “Pick Six” column, NFL senior writer Mike Sandow breaks down some of the reasons why the Chiefs have underperformed and where they are headed heading into the postseason. During the collapse, Sandow dropped a nugget of interesting reports: One unidentified general manager essentially washed up on Kansas City Chiefs’ 34-year-old tight end.

“Funny you should say that,” the general manager said. “I was watching him run in the Hail Mary (against Green Bay), and I was thinking he might be about to be finished. I will say I understand he’s been productive at times this year. But you know what the first sign of decline is for a player like Travis Kelce? He’s not the same player late in the season, which means his body isn’t recovering.

Sandow continued to cite Kelce’s career-low 11.2 yards per reception as evidence of decline. He also provided one response to the GM’s allegations from an anonymous offensive coordinator.

“Kelce is fine,” the coach said. “He’s never been good at lining up and hitting the press man on him, but they’ve done a good job of moving him, moving him, changing his launch routes, and a lot of the catches come in Mahomes’ scrambles when people lose track of him.”

Frankly, the General Manager’s comments are quite laughable. Does Kelce look like he’s still at the peak of his powers? No, and I can’t name a hardliner who is still an elite offensive weapon at 34 years old.

However, calling Kelce “almost done” is just a denial of reality. Do you want volume statistics? Kelce leads all tight ends in receiving yards (896) and is tied for fourth in receiving touchdowns (5, sitting behind a three-way tie at 6). Do you want efficiency metrics? Kelce’s “low” 11.2 yards per target still ranks fifth in the league among tight ends, while his 8.7 yards per target is third. according to The Edge for the 33rd team, Kelce’s 2.50 yards per route run is tied with George Kittle for the best in the league among tight ends with at least 50 routes run. Do you want advanced metrics? Kelce ranks second among tight end targets (minimum 30 targets) in receiving DYAR and fourth in DVOA. He is also the second-highest-graded tight end on PFF this season.

Even by Kelce’s historically high standards, he’s having a good year. Kelce is 104 yards away from his eighth straight 1,000-yard season. His catch rate of 77.7 percent is the highest of his career. He’s on pace to set a new career standard in total receptions. In one of the highest-volume workloads of his career, Kelce is posting the third-highest success rate of his career.

Once again, there are signs of decline. according to According to ProFootballReference advanced stats, Kelce’s average depth of target of 7.6 would be the third lowest since 2018 (as far back as PFR’s advanced stats track). His 4.7 yards after the catch per reception is the second lowest of the past six years.

Part of that – especially the ability to detach after a catch – can be linked to age. But a big part of that also has to do with the overall status of the leaders. Mahomes’ 6.9 air yards per attempt are the lowest mark of his career. Kansas City Leads the league On dropped passes, most of those come from an inexperienced (and not very good) receiving corps. The four-time All-Pro tight end is the only weapon Kansas City has. This means he gets tougher coverage assignments, which in turn means passing the ball to Kelce will become a little more difficult.

One thing the anonymous GM understood was that Kelce probably wouldn’t age as gracefully as other tight ends. The natural life cycle of a modern tight end typically requires them to move into blocking-centric roles in their twilight years. Kelce is known to not be a good blocker. Kansas City rarely uses it to block an outside slide. If he were to become a bottom-to-bottom tight end in personnel-heavy packages late in his career, he probably wouldn’t last long.

However, Kelce is still playing at an elite level. He backed down, yes. That decline, at least on a personal level, is going from “greatest offensive tight end in NFL history” to “top-three tight end in the league.” Kelce is extremely healthy, having missed two regular-season games since becoming a full-time starter in 2015. He’s still putting up numbers that 90 percent of the league wishes he could get out of.

It’s safe to say that the Chiefs are having a bad year offensively. It’s not good to lie.

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