After recording at least 8 receptions and 100 yards in four of the team’s last five contests, the 31-year-old is on pace to shatter personal bests across the board, as well as the NFL’s single-season yardage record by a tight end (1,377) by season’s end. Not typically one to shy away from chirping on the field, the Chiefs’ Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee has been a quintessential leader for the defending Super Bowl champions.
During his Friday press conference, however, Kelce revealed that it’s teammate Tyreek Hill who he shies away from when it comes to talking a big game.
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Kelce, Hill Closing in on Receiving Lead
The eighth-year tight end isn’t the only Chiefs receiver dominating his position in 2020. Hill’s unmatchable speed has lent itself to a tie for the league-lead in receiving touchdowns (13) through Week 13.
With four games left to play in the regular season, Kelce and Hill also currently rank second and third in yards among all eligible receivers, with 1,114 and 1,079, respectively. It’s Seattle Seahawks standout DK Metcalf (1,119) who the dynamic duo will need to catch to bring the theoretical crown to Kansas City.
Kelce is aware of “The Cheetah’s” game-breaking quickness as much as anyone, and the two-time All-Pro thought twice before responding to a question about jockeying for position in the receiving race between himself and Hill.
“I say it all the time – he’s the deadliest weapon in the National Football League and then I say that for a reason, man,” Kelce continued on Friday. “He can strike up the band at any point in the game no matter if you’re handing the ball off to him or you’re throwing it to him and Tyreek is an unbelievable player on the field, even better dude off the field.
“He’s my brother and it’s a lot of honor and a lot of pride going into the end of this season like this being top of the charts with him knowing how much he works in and how good he is. So just having fun. I know not to poke the bear, man, because he’ll take off in a hurry on me.”
Hill, a two-time All-Pro in his own right, won the initial sprint to 1,000 yards with a historic 269-yard, 3 touchdown explosion versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12.
Dolphins Keen on Shutting Down No. 1 Receivers
The pair will next faceoff with a playmaking Miami Dolphins defense, which ranks 16th in receiving yards allowed to date but have limited opponents’ leading receivers to an average of 5 receptions and 58.7 yards per game over their last seven contests, per MiamiDolphins.com.
An anomaly of a performance by Los Angles Rams WR Cooper Kupp — who hauled in 10-of-20 targets for 110 yards in Week 8 — drove those totals up, further emphasizing the importance of both Kelce and Hill to help spread the field for Patrick Mahomes.
Earlier in the week, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who also went to bat for Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, joked that his group could use a few extra defenders to slow down Andy Reid’s hyperdrive offense.
“Who are you going to put on (Sammy) Watkins? Who are you going to put on Mecole (Hardman)? Who are you going to put on (Demarcus) Robinson,” the second-year Dolphins coach said on Wednesday. “We’ve got to handle the backs too. (Clyde) Edwards-Helaire is a good back. Le’Veon Bell isn’t a slouch either. I wish we could have 14 defenders. That would be nice.”
Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, CO. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join our Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!