KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Travis Kelce became the fastest tight end to reach 8,000 career yards early in the second half. He finished with seven catches for 109 yards, including the second-longest touchdown of his NFL career.
Kelce’s 46-yard catch and touchdown run looked like it would be the difference for the Kansas City Chiefs in a Sunday Night Football showdown at Baltimore.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was flushed to the right, found Kelce who had settled in a void in the defense — something he does better than perhaps any tight end in NFL history — and No. 87 took care of the rest.
Kelce cut back across the field, stiff-arming a defender, out-running angles from others, following blocks and pin-balling the last five yards into the end zone for a 35-24 lead.
“What you saw was a lot of teamwork,” Kelce said. “I wasn’t the only one out there. I was just the one with the ball. I had a lot of guys working to block guys downfield. That’s what we pride ourselves on in this building is trying to spring another guy for a touchdown.”
The Ravens scored 12 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, leaving Kelce disappointed and uninterested in bragging about his exploits and records after the game.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re playing four quarters of football and not letting up at any point in the game,” Kelce said.
During nine NFL seasons, including his rookie season when he appeared in only one game, Kelce has 625 catches for 8,066 yards and 51 touchdowns.
He reached 8,000 yards in his 113th career game, seven faster than Rob Gronkowski, who owned the record before Sunday.
Kelce also has 26 career 100-yard games, which ties Tony Gonzalez for the most in Chiefs history and ranks third all-time among NFL tight ends.
Kelce passed Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome for eight place in receiving yards by a tight end in league history.
He’s the only tight end in NFL history with five straight 1,000-yard seasons and set an NFL record for tight ends with 1,416 yards last season.
Kelce also had career-highs with 105 receptions and 11 touchdowns in 2020, but he’s more interested in another number — winning a second Lombardi Trophy.