HomeViralTravis Kelce: Not Slowing Down Yet! Andy Reid Credits Mahomes and Rice...

Travis Kelce: Not Slowing Down Yet! Andy Reid Credits Mahomes and Rice for Reviving Star Player

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Andy Reid dismissed any notion that Kelce was slowed by age in 2023
The Chiefs coach said his midseason lull was the result of constant double teams.

Travis Kelce’s midseason dip in production had nothing to with his age, 34, or declining ability, Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid said this week.

Rather, it was the persistent double teams he faced for much of the year before 23-year-old receiver Rashee Rice developed into one of Patrick Mahomes’ preferred targets.

Rashee Rice helped Kelce be more productive,’ Reid told Kansas City’s 610 Sports. ‘It wasn’t that Kelce had lost his legs or was old or this or that. It was that he was going at two defenders at one time.

‘Once you put Rashee in there, who grew at doing kind of similar things that Kelce can do, then they can’t double Kelce,’ Reid continued. ‘They got to take care of both these guys and that’s a big load for a defense – especially working inside the numbers [over the middle of the field], which is the quarterback’s sweet spot.

Rice’s development ignited a domino effect that helped the Chiefs to win their third title in five years, despite some early season struggles in Kansas City’s receiving corps.

And so inevitably it gets the ball out quicker, which helps your holding calls that were killing us, and it allows Pat to not have to move so far in the pocket, the catches go up,’ Reid said. ‘It all kind of worked together and got better as we went on.’

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Kelce had a three-week stretch in which he posted 31 catches on 32 targets for two touchdowns and whopping 370 receiving yards.

But with media attention focusing in on his relationship with Taylor Swift, Kelce had a string of forgettable performances.

With the Chiefs going 3-5 from Week 8 until Week 15, Kelce was being stifled by opposing secondaries.

The Miami Dolphins held him to just three catches and 14 yards in Week 19, and against New England in Week 14 he managed only five grabs for 28 yards.

It was about then that Mahomes began finding Rice more often, culminating in the receiver’s 127-yard effort in the regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Rice was even better in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, making eight catches for 130 yards and a touchdown, while Kelce suddenly came to life with seven grabs of his own for 71 yards.


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