Chiefs’ Travis Kelce Sounds Off on Mac Jones, Eli Apple Beef

Travis Kelce

Getty Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce in 2022.

In case you missed it, New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was the subject of major criticism this week after many around the NFL community called him out for a “dirty” block on Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple — including Apple himself.

Kansas City Chiefs fans probably remember Apple well, as he was the face of Bengals smack talk after the AFC Championship loss last winter. Having had run-ins with both players in the past, Travis Kelce decided to weigh in on this Week 16 drama during his hit podcast, “New Heights,” with older brother Jason Kelce.

“Moving on to Mac Jones’ dirty play. Hate to see it, man, you hate to see it,” Travis Kelce voiced on his podcast this week, explaining: “The internet is up in arms over Mac Jones’ hit on Eli Apple, a guy who talks a lot of s***, and Mac Jones probably got fed up with it. I think that might have played into it a little bit.”

The commentary from Travis and Jason Kelce didn’t end there.

Travis & Jason Kelce Debate Mac Jones Hit on Eli Apple

After describing the Patriots-Bengals sequence for listeners — which can be seen below — Travis Kelce added that Jones’ late block on Apple, and other plays like it, “have no business in the league.”

“You try and keep your composure in moments like that, especially when things aren’t going great,” Travis continued, defending Jones a bit more. “That’s when [dirty plays] typically happen. When frustration [combines with] not having success on the field.”

Travis followed up later, stating that he didn’t think Jones was trying to hurt anyone, reiterating: “I think he was frustrated and said f*** it.”

Philadelphia Eagles star Jason Kelce gave his take on the situation too.

“I know it’s dirty [but] on the level of dirtiness, I don’t really think it was that bad,” the veteran center admitted. “The first time I saw it, I thought it was dirty as hell because Eli Apple isn’t even involved in the play. He’s like three people back from where the ball carrier is — it was just very weird that [Jones] chose to do that.”

Like his brother, Jason Kelce did note that despite the move being illegal and shamed upon, he “didn’t think it was [an] intent to injure like everyone’s making it out to be,” comparing the Patriots QB to a “sad dog” with the way he dropped down under Apple’s legs. “I think [Mac Jones] got posterized by Chandler Jones the week before and he wasn’t going to go up-top on the guy,” he joked. “All week, [coaches] probably told him — ‘hey, go low… what are you doing taking the big guy up top and getting [stiff-armed]?'”

“Now he’s not getting posterized but he’s getting made out to be one of the dirtiest players in the NFL,” Jason summed up with a laugh. He also agreed that “it’s definitely not acceptable” either way, and both brothers concluded that Jones would certainly get fined by the league for this attempt at a block.

Travis Kelce did throw in that he doesn’t want to “rag on” the quarterback at the end of the segment — considering Jones helped win him the Pro Bowl bonus money last year.

Chiefs Still Have Bad Blood With Bengals

Lost in this clip was Travis Kelce’s subtle jab at Apple. He didn’t say it maliciously, but the superstar tight end immediately publicized his opinion on the Cincy cornerback.

“A guy who talks a lot of s***,” the Chiefs playmaker said boldly.

It’s clear as day that there is still some bad blood between Kansas City and Cincinnati. As NFL fans, we can only hope this rivalry ends in another AFC playoff match — or potentially, an AFC Championship rematch.

The Bengals already warned KC about this after beating them for a third-straight time, and the Chiefs would definitely sign up for another chance at vengeance after they dropped the ball during the regular season.

As much as the Buffalo Bills have become a conference rival in recent years, there’s a lack of bitterness to it because of the developing friendship between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen away from the sport. When it comes to Chiefs-Bengals on the other hand, there’s no love lost, and we’ll have to wait and see if KC gets another opportunity to stick it to Cincy.