Chiefs-Raiders Notebook: Kelce tops 100 yards again

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tight end Travis Kelce now shares a Kansas City Chiefs franchise record with future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez after picking up his fourth-straight 100-yard receiving game. Kelce caught five passes for 101 yards in the team’s 21-13 win over the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium Thursday night.

Tight end Travis Kelce races for extra yards during the team's 21-13 win over the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium Dec. 8, 2016. (Photo by Mike Gunnoe, The Topeka Capital-Journal)

Tight end Travis Kelce races for extra yards during the team’s 21-13 win over the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium Dec. 8, 2016. (Photo by Mike Gunnoe, The Topeka Capital-Journal)

“It’s unbelievable,” Kelce said after the game. “I’m still a kid when it comes to loving the heroes of my generation. Tony was one of them, and he’s still top-of-the-line character off the field.”

Kelce’s 916 receiving yards on the season sets a new career-high for the fourth-year tight end. His 70 catches stand just two receptions shy of his personal best set last year.

Coach Andy Reid said the streak puts Kelce in rare company, but the believes the tight end can accomplish more.

“It’s important that he just stays on top of it,” Reid said. “You can even do better. There are are some plays there that he wished he’d have back.”

Kelce joked after the game he expects to gain 100 or 200 yards every game.

“I go in hoping the game plan we put together is on point, just like it always is,” Kelce said.

OFFENSE SLOWS IN SECOND HALF

The Chiefs offense appeared ready to blow out the Raiders in the first half, with Smith connecting on 11-of-16 passing for 202 yards and a touchdown.

But the offensive efficiency slipped after the team scored on a 3-yard Characandrick West touchdown run. That made the score 14-3 with 8 minutes and 34 seconds to play in the second quarter.

The next Raiders possession ended with Tyreek Hill’s 78-yard punt return for a touchdown. Then Oakland embarked on a 92-yard drive over 14 plays spanning 6 minutes, 11 seconds. The Chiefs took a knee on the final play of the first half.

Smith felt the long period without the ball took some luster off the offense.

“It felt like there was a long time there we didn’t run any plays,” Smith said, “and then weren’t able to really get in a rhythm even in the second half.”

Smith fired an interception on the second play of the third quarter, then surrendered a fumble on the first play of the next drive. Smith completed just 6-of-10 passes for 62 yards in the second half.

MITCHELL MOVES UP DEPTH CHART

Cornerback Terrance Mitchell bounced among three different teams since his selection in the seventh road of the 2014 draft by the Dallas Cowboys. But Mitchell may finally have found himself a home in Kansas City.

The Chiefs promoted Mitchell from the practice squad Nov. 24, and in that short time he’s climbed from a limited special teams player to the No. 3 cornerback. Mitchell played right corner most of the night opposite Marcus Peters with Steven Nelson playing the slot.

The third-year journeyman finished with five tackles and two passes defended, including swatting away Derek Carr’s final pass of the game intended for Seth Roberts in the end zone.

Reid like what he saw from Mitchell.

“He did a nice job,” Reid said. “He had a big play there on fourth down, and he had a few during the game.”

Mitchell’s only deficit on the night came from a questionable pass interference call late in the second quarter that extended an Oakland drive.

“I thought he made a nice play,” Reid said. “He got flagged for it, but I didn’t quite see it that way.”

 

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and the Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.

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