KANSAS CITY, Mon. – Sometime late in the regular season, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill not only competed for that Kansas City Chiefs‘Lead in receiving yards, but also for the NFL that receives the title.
As always, your competition remained friendly because everyone benefits from the fact that the other is there.
“”[Hill is] The deadliest threat in the National Football League, “said Kelce, who finished with 1,416 yards, an NFL record for a close finish and 140 more than Hill.” You can’t limit your speed. He’s the biggest threat in the game. It makes my job so much easier there because it just attracts so much attention. “
In the end, Kelce finished second in the NFL when he got yards and Hill eighth (1,276 yards) – and didn’t play in the Chiefs’ regular season finale against the Chargers either. They will be the second close-to-end receiver combination, each with 1,200 receiving yards, played in a Super Bowl. But as good as Kelce and Hill were in the regular season – their big games included one against the same Tampa Bay privateers They’ll compete against each other on Super Bowl Sunday (6:30 p.m. ET, CBS) – they were even better on the two playoff wins.
They are the first teammates in NFL history to receive 100 yards each in consecutive playoff games in a single postseason. They made up 79% of the Chiefs’ reception yards (second highest for a Super Bowl tandem), 68% of receptions (second), and 63% of destinations (first).
“They’re playing really good football right now,” said the quarterback Patrick Mahomes said of Kelce and Hill. “That’s the biggest thing. I just take what’s there and try to get the ball to the boys in space. I’m never someone who chooses who to throw to. I just throw it to whoever is open . These guys were I’m sure the Bucs saw that too, so I’m sure they’ll have a game plan to slow these guys down. We have to adapt to that. “
Hill said he learned from the way Kelce meticulously navigates his routes. Assistant trainer Greg Lewis often shows Hill and the other major Kelce recipients video as a teaching aid.
“Kelce, so he’s his size [260 pounds] and he’s very nimble and very light-footed for a man of his stature, “said Hill.” When I got here I said, “Man, this tall man can walk routes, are you serious?” But the guy’s crazy good. Kelce is crazy good.
“We don’t go into statistics too much. I feel like we’re trying to be proud to win the game. Well, admittedly, now we want to play the big game – I won’t say that. But as far as when we meet Look at the statistics, let’s just win the game and just be the best and help each other. “
Kelce and Hill, in particular, were instrumental in the Chiefs’ 27:24 victory over the Bucs in Week 12. Kelce had eight catches for 82 yards. Hill had 13 catches for 269 yards, including touchdowns of 75, 44 and 20 yards. He had two touchdowns when he hit 20 mph against the Bucs in the first quarter, according to NFL Next Gen Stats data. He had 203 reception areas in the opening quarter.
But Hill had 66 yards for the past three quarters and Kelce five yards in the second half after Tampa Bay made adjustments in their coverage.
“As you saw last time, the Bucs worked against us on these two doubles teams and we need to work on it and make sure these things are dealt with there,” said head coach Andy Reid.
Hill won 211 yards as Bucs cornerback Carlton Davis was the next defender to have the most approved by any defender in the past five seasons, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.
Kelce caught six of his eight receptions in Week 12 when a linebacker was the closest defender. The Buccaneers linebackers were the closest defenders to 156 regular season receptions.
But why did Hill seem to be slowing down in Week 12 after his first quarter against the Bucs?
“I just got tired,” said Hill jokingly. “I’m sick of running. No, let me stop. Todd Bowles is a great defensive coordinator. He’s been doing this for a long time. I’m sure he’s seen people like me throughout his career. He could only call cover.” 2, cover 55 strong and things like that to slow me down.
“Put Carlton too [Davis] on me, slows me down and brings security a little over the top to double me and Kelce. This species slowed us down a lot, and their front seven are enormous. Once they hit defense they are a great defense. They fly around the field – they are great. I feel like I was just lucky and able to open up. “