Tag Archives: Travis Kelce

Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 12-9-18: In-game report

In a matchup between mentor and mentee, the mentor bested his understudy.  Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs defeated John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens, 27-24, to remain in first place in the AFC.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in- game report:

Travis Kelce

When Kelce is rolling, the Kansas City Chiefs offense is rolling. Teams that have defeated the Chiefs have not been able to completely stop Kelce but have been able to limit his productivity or force him and his team to use more targets to get his catches.  The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Chiefs and even though Kelce had 10 catches for 127 yards, it took him 15 targets to post those numbers.  The Patriots were the Chiefs only other loss this season, they double teamed and chipped Kelce all night and held him to five catches on nine targets for 61 yards.  Against the Ravens, Kelce caught two passes on the first possession of the game and forced a holding call on cornerback Marlon Humphrey that resulted in a touchdown.  For the game, he caught seven passes on nine targets for 77 yards and one touchdown. The Chiefs second-ranked scoring offense and No. 3 ranked passing game are a direct reflection of Kelce’s productivity.  If a team hopes to stop the Chiefs offense, then they must prioritize defending Kelce. 

Ravens defense

Despite giving up catches to Kelce early, Baltimore held the Chiefs to 27 points, tied for their lowest output of the season.  The Ravens forced Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes to drive the length of the field and kept everything in front of them by always keeping a safety deep.  Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale also switched up blitz schemes which kept Mahomes off balance and resulted in three sacks.  The Chiefs still managed 92 rushing yards and 347 passing yards but the chunk plays were minimal. The fourth down 48-yard heave across the field from Mahomes to Tyreek Hill was a back breaker for the Ravens. However, besides that play and a screen pass to Spencer Ware, the Ravens didn’t give up a play of more than 25 yards defensively.  Look for the Chiefs division rival, the Los Angeles Chargers, to try and replicate the Ravens defensive game plan when the two teams meet on Thursday.  

Lamar Jackson

The former Louisville quarterback has struggled with turnovers and accuracy issues (58 percent completion percentage, three interceptions and eight fumbles) since he has been under center. However, Jackson has given the Ravens offense a spark because of his running ability and quick passing ability.  Baltimore has went to a more run-pass option attack and one-read passing concepts with Jackson.  Against the Chiefs, the Ravens used their tight end as a motion man to get involved as the lead blocker in power running plays and as a safety option for Jackson in the short passing game. Jackson completed 13-of-24 passes for two touchdowns and ran for 71 yards.  As he gets more comfortable, look for the playbook to expand, but for now Jackson has been productive and has put the Ravens in positions to win.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots, 10-14-18: In-game report

Two of the premier coaches in the NFL faced off in primetime on Sunday Night Football.  New England (4-2) was able to keep pace with the Chiefs (5-1) in the conference after a last second field goal pushed them to victory.  DraftNasty's Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

Patriots power running game

The Patriots use of offset I-formations with fullback James Develin (No. 46 pictured) and Rob Gronkowski (No. 87 pictured) led a running game that carried the offense for the much of the night.

Bill Belichick flipped the script on Sunday night, instead of relying on his future Hall of Fame quarterback, the longtime coach relied on a power run game.  The Patriots used fullback James Develin in the I-formation and the offset I-formation, while also putting Rob Gronkowski at the tight end spot with his hand in the ground in order to establish a strong push in the run game.  Kansas City ranks 28th in the league in rushing yards allowed and the Patriots took advantage of it.  New England ran for 173 yards and actually ran three more times than they passed.  This power run game will probably be an outlier, but credit to Belichick for his willingness to adjust the game plan for specific game-to-game needs.

Patrick Mahomes 

Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes has a 112.2 quarterback rating through six starts in 2018.

The first-year starter has burst onto the scene and what immediately jumps out about Mahomes is his raw arm talent. Mahomes can make plays off schedule while falling off his back foot reminiscent of the kinds of throws that are usually reserved for Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers.  In the first quarter, Mahomes darted  a pass from his back foot and across his body to the waiting hands of Chris Conley, placing the ball where only his receiver could make the play.  The Chiefs quarterback finished with 352 passing yards and four touchdowns but he did throw two interceptions, which led to points for the Patriots.  Mahomes first interception came when Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower faked a blitz and dropped into coverage, fooling the young quarterback.  The second came on a pass where Mahomes was rolling right and tried to throw across his body to tight end Travis Kelce, who was double covered.  Mahomes should be able to fix those types of interceptions with experience. For now, Mahomes should remind Andy Reid of another talented gunslinger that he coached in Brett Favre. 

Patriots defense 

Bill Belichick’s defensive mantra has remained constant since he came to New England: make your second or third best players beat us offensively.  The Patriots doubled Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce all night and sacrificed the pass rushing of Dont’a Hightower and Trey Flowers in order to chip Kelce at the line. The game plan worked as the Pats held Kelce to five catches for 61 yards. However, Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill were left with more room to roam free as a result. The pair combined for 327 total yards and four touchdowns. It was a tale of two halves for the Patriots, who led 24-9 at halftime. If these two teams meet again in the playoffs, Belichick might have to tinker with his game-plan because despite holding Kelce in check, Hill and Hunt nearly upended New England in Foxboro. 

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 9-24-18: In-game report

One team regressed to the mean on Monday Night Football while the other showed flashes of being a playoff contender. The Steelers used a dominant first half en route to a 30-27 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

Ben Roethlisberger 

Roethlisberger is a gunslinger in every sense of the word. The veteran quarterback will evade pass rushers, pass up open reads and throw into triple coverage, sometimes all on the same possession. However, it’s tolerated because every now and then it leads to a big play.  For the most part, Roethlisberger’s antics paid off against the Buccaneers. He threw for 353 yards, three touchdowns and only one interception despite having a non-existent running game. Even without Leveon Bell, the Steelers have enough weapons to put up 35 plus points per game as they did against Tampa Bay.  But as always, it will be worth monitoring if Big Ben can avoid the costly turnovers and the unnecessary hits. As Roethlisberger showed on Monday, when he is under center, you take the good with the bad. 

Steelers Secondary 

A week after getting shredded by first-year starter Patrick Mahomes, the Steelers secondary looked better against the Buccaneers.  There wasn’t any personnel switch but a clear point of emphasis during the week had to be the importance of playing assignment football.  Mahomes looked good against the Steelers, but a portion of his yards and touchdowns came against blown coverage (see Travis Kelce’s touchdown up the seam), where Steelers defensive backs were seen confused and pointing at each other at the end of plays.  People will pick up the box score and see Fitzpatrick threw for three touchdowns and 400 plus yards.  But he also threw three interceptions and the Buccaneers receivers made some great catches as well, including an over the shoulder catch by Mike Evans in double coverage and a Chris Godwin catch over the middle in between a cornerback and a safety.  If you’re the Steelers, you can live with players making good plays if you’re in the right spots. The Steelers secondary was more active and engaged than they’ve been all season, an example of that is cornerback Artie Burns, hustling behind the play to force a fumble.  When this team plays well on the back end, it allows them to get into their zone blitz schemes, which netted them a few sacks and countless third down stops in the first half.   The Pittsburgh Steelers will go as far as their secondary takes them this year.

Buccaneers QB Dilemma 

Jameis Winston will return from suspension this week but he may not see the field. Ryan Fitzpatrick has come into the starting lineup and provided a level of consistency to the Buccaneers offense. What you see is what you get with Fitzpatrick.  He’s not as mobile as Winston but he will stay in the pocket and take a hit.  The quarterback also knows where his bread is buttered.  Winston has more physical tools, but Fitzpatrick makes up for his shortcomings with his decisiveness and trust in his eyes. Fitzpatrick doesn’t overthink the game, if Desean Jackson is open, Desean Jackson will get the ball, and the same goes for any of the other receivers. On the season, Fitzpatrick has thrown 11 touchdowns and four interceptions for the Buccaneers, who currently sit at 2-1.