There are seven games in the books — and 10 more to go. While we may not be right at the halfway mark of the 2021 regular season, the Kansas City Chiefs are taking their bye week in Week 8, so it’s a good time to dish out some midseason awards.
The Arrowhead Pride writing staff members each had one vote for our seven midseason awards. There are 11 contributors, so there will be 11 votes tallied for each award. In this post, we’ll reveal our best offensive player to this point of the season.
TE TRAVIS KELCE
Voting: TE Travis Kelce (11)
In the early part of the season, we have learned that the narrative that the Chiefs traded away their No. 1 receiver in the offseason was a misconception. Tight end Travis Kelce continues to be the weapon that makes the Chiefs offense run. Though expected to face heavier coverage after wide receiver Tyreek Hill was traded to the Miami Dolphins, Kelce leads the team in targets, receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns.
Kelce’s 553 receiving yards make him the only tight end currently in the league’s top 10 receiving leaders. Bolstered by his Week 5 four-touchdown performance against the Las Vegas Raiders in front of a national audience, Kelce actually leads the league in receiving touchdowns.
Against his own position group, Kelce’s stats are incomparable. Mark Andrews of the Baltimore Ravens and David Njoku of the Cleveland Browns are the only other tight ends with more than 400 yards receiving. Only Andrews (5) has more than 3 scores.
His current pace of 79 yards-per-game have Kelce on pace for 1,343 receiving yards for the season — which would be the second-best of his career. Even if his production slightly dips down the stretch, the 33-year-old is a very good bet to turn in his seventh consecutive 1000-yard season. While he will not continue averaging a touchdown per game, he likely will surpass his 11-touchdown 2020 season and set a new career high for finding the end zone.
It also should be noted that Kelce is maintaining his production while actually playing less. He can frequently be seen getting breathers after big plays, and his snap count through seven games is 79%. He has not had a season snap count below 80% since 2014 — effectively his first season after his rookie year was lost to injury.
If Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes builds a case for the league’s Most Valuable Player over the remaining ten games, Kelce will be a big reason why. Targets to Kelce have a passer rating of 144.0 — and he has already tied a career-high with 10 broken tackles, providing extra opportunities to pad his quarterback’s passing numbers.
Who is your bye-week offensive player of the year?
This poll is closed