Chiefs Wait For Tyreek Hill And Travis Kelce To Wake Up

KANSAS CITY – The Kansas City Chiefs have posed an unenviable choice for opposing defenses for years. They try to slow down speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill or dangerous tight end Travis Kelce.

It’s like deciding between hitting your head or your big toe. Either way, it will hurt.

Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce have not been the explosive players of other years in the Kansas City attack. AP Photo


However, the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos are among several teams that have cracked the puzzle this season, neutralizing the two favorite recipients of quarterback Patrick Mahomes and slowing down the entire Kansas City attack.

Green Bay allowed Hill to catch four of 11 passes for 37 yards, while Kelce caught five of eight for 68 yards, in the game the Chefs won just 13-7 last month.

Denver limited Hill to two receptions on five occasions for 22 yards on Sunday. Kelce had three catches on eight passes for 27 yards and the Chiefs had to take cover on their defense to win 22-9.

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“As my career has progressed, I have learned that you cannot be carried away by the excitement or the spectacle of playing,” Mahomes said earlier this week. “I have been in many games where we have scored a lot of points and we have lost. But I assure you that when you play like we have, you feel much better. “

Kelce and Hill would be the first to say the same. The Chiefs (8-4) have won five in a row to take a one-game lead over the Los Angeles Chargers. They outscore the Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders by two games.

The Raiders will be their rivals on Sunday, in the tight fight within the Western Division of the American Conference.

But there is no question that Kelce and Hill also want to make a bigger impact in games. This is its competitive nature.

As far as Kelce is concerned, defenses are turning to multiple backs to wear him down. They hit him on the line to detract from his precision on the Chiefs’ preferred trajectories. And they continue to punish him with every play.

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Eventually, the mind becomes frustrated with such physical demands.

On three occasions this season, Kelce has been limited to 27 yards or less, three of 13 total minors in 122 straight games in which he has received a catch.

And his three catches against Denver last week were his ninth-worst number of his career.

As for Hill, defenses have adopted the two-safe strategy that was so successful for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to tie Kansas City in the Super Bowl. Thus, short advances behind the coverage are allowed.

The Chiefs must go series of 10 or 12 plays, rather than Hill being able to make long drives that lead to easy scoring.