Can anyone other than Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce step up for the Chiefs offense?
Even in a down year, the Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce connection remains dynamite for the Kansas City Chiefs. Defenses still struggle to contain the duo, partly because for a handful of plays a game they have no idea what they’re going to do themselves.
It hasn’t always been a slick a production this season. The Chiefs offense has ebbed and flowed, with Kelce showing signs of his advancing (for a tight end) age. But when the team has needed the pair most, they’ve delivered. Kelce has been the second-most valuable tight end in the league on third down by EPA per play – and ranks first among the receivers who will be on the field on Sunday. One problem: Fred Warner. In Warner, the San Francisco 49ers have a part-pterodactyl, part-linebacker capable of matching up with Kelce’s size and speed. If Warner can contain Kelce – or the Niners opt to double-team the tight end – the Chiefs will have to find production from elsewhere. That could come from their run-game, which has been effective throughout the playoffs. But at some point, one of the Chiefs’ wide receivers will need to deliver in a crucial moment.
Rookie Rashee Rice has been a standout this season. Marquez Valdes-Scantling has flashed in the postseason. The rest of the receiving corps, though, have vanished like werewolves around a pile of silver bullets. The Chiefs will need to match the Niners’ offense splash play for splash play. If Kelce is limited, they will need one of Rice or Valdes-Scantling to tip the game in their favor.
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Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/chiefs-blitz-romo-rambles-issues-083036863.html
Author : The Guardian
Publish date : 2024-02-09 08:30:36
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