NFL : Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce Over Rated and Is Travis showing off because Taylor?

Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce


Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce posted huge first-half numbers leading to the Kansas City Chiefs’ 31-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Here’s what you need to know:


Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce

Mahomes threw for 321 of his 424 yards and three of his four touchdown passes in the first half. It marked his second career half with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns (also 2019 Week 2 at Raiders), most in the NFL since his first season as a starter in 2018.
Kelce tallied 143 of his 179 yards — the second most the tight end has ever had in a game — in the first half along with the 50th touchdown reception he’s caught from Mahomes.
Kelce’s 12 catches also matched a career high.
Mahomes sharp as ever
Mahomes generated his best performance of the season when his team needed him to help create even more distance between the Chiefs and everyone else in the AFC West. Mahomes threw for a season-high 424 yards, but his accuracy and decisions within the pocket were exquisite. When the Chargers blitzed him, Mahomes scrambled for a first down or threw a completion — oftentimes to Kelce — to keep the Chiefs moving downfield.

Perhaps the most encouraging part for the Chiefs is that Mahomes connected with a different teammate for each of his touchdowns — Kelce, receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, rookie receiver Rashee Rice and running back Isiah Pacheco. — Nate Taylor, Chiefs writer

For almost a decade, their divisional rivals have schemed, plotted and made changes — at head coach, quarterback and other positions — to put an end to their dominance.

The Kansas City Chiefs, though, keep thwarting their AFC West foes — the Los Angeles Chargers, the Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Raiders — by continuing to win. And win. And win.

Sunday’s battle between the Chiefs and the Chargers was the latest example, an outcome that felt familiar for both teams: a Chiefs’ 31-17 victory.

At the NFL combine in 2022, Brandon Staley was answering a question about the value of playing with two deep safeties when he offered an interesting personal insight on zone coverages.

“If you guys have seen anything the last five years with these quarterbacks, it’s if there’s a bunch of air in the coverage, they’re going to find it,” Staley said then. “You put a bunch of air in the coverage, you’ll wake up and they’ll have 80 percent, 85 percent completion for like 300, 400 (yards). And with their mobility, playing zone is the worst thing to play because you’re not connected, and then they’re going to find it.”

How prescient.

In the first half of Sunday’s 31-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Los Angeles Chargers played predominantly zone against one of the best zone-beating tandems in NFL history, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce. And Staley’s defense put enough air in those coverages to fill up every balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Wake up: Mahomes finished with 424 yards passing on 76 percent completion.

Patrick Mahomes still streaking
Following Sunday’s four-touchdown performance, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has now thrown a touchdown pass in 29 consecutive games. It’s the longest active streak in the NFL and two shy of matching his career high (31 straight from 2019-21).

Mahomes and Drew Brees are the only players with multiple streaks of 29-plus games with a TD pass this century.


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