Seven catches. Twenty-five yards. And 24 points.
That was Travis Kelce’s final stat line on a chaotic Monday night where a few short gains contributed to a big win.
Kelce had a career-high four touchdown receptions to lead the Kansas City Chiefs’ 30-29 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders in which they overcame a 17-point deficit.
“I just worked my tail off for these guys and ran tonight,” Kelce told ESPN’s Lisa Salters after the game. “That’s all I did [Chiefs] Kingdom. They showed up, they showed up on a Monday night, knowing that everyone has work tomorrow and they were in here loud and proud.”
While Monday night’s game was an instant classic, Kelce’s streak was anything but ordinary.
Kelce became the first player in NFL history to record four touchdowns of less than 10 yards in a game, according to NFL Research. And before Monday afternoon, 2019 Detroit Lions running back Marvin Jones held the record for fewest receiving yards (93) by a player with four TDs, according to NFL Research. Kelce set a new standard by 68 yards.
“They were trying to take Kelce out of the game,” Chiefs coach Reed said after the game. “I mean he had 25 yards and four touchdowns. Well, I mean that’s a pretty good day, but kind of a weird number.”
A strange stat line indeed, but Kelce making an impact on the Chiefs is hardly surprising.
Kelce, who tied the Chiefs’ franchise record for catches in 131 straight games, has been consistent season after season, building a relationship with Patrick Mahomes that the future Hall of Fame coach rarely sees and admires.
“They work so well together,” Reid said. “How they play off of each other, I think is big. That’s not always the case in this league where you find a guy that you have that mojo with there — whatever you want to call it.”
While those 25 yards were on the low end for Kelce — his lowest output since Week 17 last year, in fact — the four TDs matched a franchise record. More than all that, they marked a resounding comeback by the Chiefs.
“Just keep fighting,” Kelce said of the message after the team fell behind, 17-0, in the second stanza. “We know what’s real. We’ve got a great team. We know there’s a lot of heart in the Chiefs locker room. We just keep bringing it every day and you’ll see it in games like this.”
In an 11-play, 75-yard odyssey, Kelce had just one catch, but it was good for a touchdown to get the Chiefs on the board in the second quarter.
Contributors were plentiful for the Chiefs, but Kansas City got all of its points in the sure hands of Kelce and the shaky right leg of kicker Matthew Wright.
Kelce’s second touchdown — this one from 3 yards — cut the Chiefs’ deficit to 20-17 in the third quarter.