KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Patrick Mahomes sat next to Travis Kelce on Sunday night as the Kansas City Chiefs returned home from their win in Denver over the Broncos. Mahomes congratulated his longtime tight end on a couple of statistical milestones he achieved in the game, but didn’t get much of a response.
“He was like, ‘Oh, yeah, man, yeah, it's cool.’’’ Mahomes recalled. “All he's worried about is winning. That's what all the great players are worried about and the stats kind of come, but at the same time he's trying to win a lot of football games.’’
Kelce's first catch against the Broncos, a 37-yard reception from Mahomes in the first quarter, put him over 10,000 yards for his career. He joined Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten, Antonio Gates and Shannon Sharpe as the fifth tight end to hit that mark.
That same play also pushed Kelce's total over 1,000 yards this season, the seventh straight season he’s done so. That extended a record for tight ends that he already owned.
Kelce after the game was as Mahomes suggested, more pleased about the Chiefs’ 14th consecutive win over the Broncos than his statistical achievements.
“To come here and get a win and be a part of the crowd that is the 10,000[-yard] crew . . . It’s unbelievable to come in and be a part of it,’’ Kelce said. “I’ve been very fortunate to have the coaches and players around me to be able to have as much success in the NFL as I’ve had.’’
Kelce as recently as a few weeks ago was on pace to set single-season records for catches, yards and touchdowns by a tight end. He’s cooled down since his 100-yard, three-touchdown game in Week 11 against the Los Angeles Chargers and wouldn’t set any records with his season pace. Kelce would, however, set personal bests for catches (106) and TDs (16), yet another reminder along with his recent statistical milestones of what he’s accomplished for so many years.
“It talks to his consistency,’’ Mahomes said. “Obviously he's a great player. We know that and he's had this great run. But if you look at his career, he's just been consistently great every single year. That tight end position is hard. You take a beating. You're blocking. You're catching over the middle, taking hits and he just prepares himself the right way that he can be out there available for us every week.’’