The case against Kelce has generally been built around concentration, and drive. He'll have what football people like to call "focus drops" from time to time, and because too many in professional football frown at those who like to have fun, his dancing and occasional unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties and reality TV show have been used to knock him down.
But that's becoming more and more difficult, because Kelce is making obvious to all what's long been understood to those who know him even a little bit — Kelce is often at his best in the middle of the storm, even if he helped create the storm.
Because a 346-pound nose guard swaggering up to the huddle, calling his own play, lining up in the Wildcat, stepping toward the line of scrimmage and then rising up to throw a jump-pass to the second-string tight end for a touchdown is a gimmick the same way the sun is a light source.
Dontari Poe has touched the ball on offense three times in his NFL career. He has three touchdowns, each somehow both hilarious and majestic, which is quite the combination. But none will be quite as memorable as the signature play of the Chiefs' 33-10 win over the Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.
Reid said Ware, who rushed for 62 yards on 13 carries, had sore ribs and is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday morning.
Conley left the game with an ankle sprain but later returned. He caught two passes for 18 yards.
Player of the game: Tight end Travis Kelce killed it on Sunday, catching 11 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. His 160 receiving yards were the most by a Chiefs tight end in a single game since 2000, when Tony Gonzalez recorded 147 in a game.
On Sunday, the Chiefs, who improved to 11-4, wasted no time getting their offensive playmakers involved. Dynamic rookie receiver Tyreek Hill, who had just one offensive touch last week, finished with six carries for 95 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown run.
"We're trying to expand (his role) every week," Reid said. "He's an explosive player, he's had experience at the running back position ... I thought he did a great job back there."
The Pro Bowl campaigns of Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill mean there are more mouths to feed, but the Chiefs' offense will always be built around getting the ball to the open man as long as Andy Reid is around. So Maclin — the team's $55 million wideout — is always a candidate to see some targets.
While the Chiefs already had a playoff spot secured, which is something Chiefs coach Andy Reid said the team was aware of before they took the field on Sunday, the win over the Broncos has put them in a position in which the AFC West title is still up for grabs. The Oakland Raiders, who travel to take on the Broncos next week, need to win in order to win the division. If the Raiders fall to the Broncos and the Chiefs beat the Chargers next week in San Diego, the Chiefs will win the division and hold the No. 2 overall seed in the AFC.
"I give the guys a lot of credit for playing hard when they already clinched a playoff spot. That isn't easy to do," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "They came out and I really thought played aggressive."
But perhaps the biggest evidence of a coaching failure is the lack of fire/readiness to play. In a truly must-win game, not one part of the team looked ready for what was coming. The Chiefs are good, but the Chiefs were beatable.
That decisive first quarter was the first time since 1968 that the Chiefs had a pair of offensive scores of 70 or more yards, but it was only the start. The Chiefs racked up multiple individual records at the Broncos’ expense, with Smith now sitting atop the franchise all-time quarterback rushing yards list and Kelce owning the most receiving yards in a game by a Chiefs tight end.
As a result, the Chiefs scored four offensive touchdowns, which isn't much for some teams but is for the Chiefs. They hadn't scored more than two TDs in any of their previous seven games. The Chiefs also had a season-high 484 yards.
Was it dirty? Was it cheap? Nope, but it was a clear message: We want to embarrass you. And that’s exactly what the Chiefs did.
"It's our job to stop him,'' Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said. "They're a good team; we know he comes into games and they have plays for him. I don't look at things that way; it's our job to do our job and stop people. [Chiefs coach] Andy [Reid] has got a lot of class; he's got a good football team. I don't look at things like that.''
"(Tyreek's) skill is unmatched on the field," said Kelce, who finished with 160 yards on 11 receptions. "And when you have a guy like that, it makes things easier for me on the inside and Jeremy on the outside. They can't double everybody. Somebody is going to have a mismatch."