Don’t look now, but the rivalry between the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders is alive and well. Just ask Travis Kelce, who fanned the flames last week when he referenced the teams’ Week 11 matchup the Raiders “Super Bowl.”
The five-time Pro Bowler, now just 17 yards off of the NFL’s receiving lead with 896 yards through 10 games, hauled in a game-winning 22-yard touchdown strike from Patrick Mahomes in the final minute on Sunday night to prevent a Raiders season sweep for the first time since 2012.
After the game though, Kelce made a surprising admission about the AFC West rivals.
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Kelce Feasted on Raiders in 2020
Considering the eighth-year tight end entered the league as a third-round draft pick in 2013, history backs up his postgame remarks. In fact, the Raiders outscored the Chiefs this year (71-67) for the first time in nine seasons.
While Las Vegas has shown drastic improvement from years past in their two matchups with Kansas City in 2020, Kelce has feasted on the Raiders defense to the tune of 16 catches for 235 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The two-time All-Pro has now posted three consecutive 100-yard performances — with two of his four 100-yard showings this year coming against the Raiders.
Kelce has a chance of surpassing the 1,000-yard mark for the fifth time in his career next Sunday in Tampa Bay, who rank in the bottom half of the league in passing yards (2,237) and touchdowns allowed (17) in 2020. With six games left to play in the regular season, Kelce is also on pace to record 105 receptions, 1,433 yards, 11 touchdowns and 78 first downs — all of which would surpass his current career-highs set in 2018.
Andy Reid on Renewed Rivalry: ‘It’s Good For The NFL’
Kelce wasn’t the only Chiefs leader to acknowledge that the Raiders are for real this season. Head coach Andy Reid opened his press conference after the game with an acknowledgment to Las Vegas’ ongoing culture shift on its on-field implications so far in 2020.
“Jon [Gruden] and Mike [Mayock] have done a great job at putting this crew together here,” Reid told reporters after the game.”
“With the change of coming to Vegas. They got this beautiful facility, and I think it’s just good. It’s good for the National Football League, the rivalry between the Raiders and the Chiefs. I think it’s a great thing for football, and it’s great to be a part of it. I know that team is well-coached, and I know they got good players. So I’m looking forward to more future challenges like the one they presented here, the last couple times we played them.”
Sunday’s win now guarantees a winning record for Kansas City for the eighth consecutive season since Reid arrived in 2013. The 62-year-old will look to keep the forward progress going after he and GM Brett Veach signed five-year contract extensions with the organization on November 16.