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Arrowheadlines: Travis Kelce named one of the best NFL players ever

Chiefs headlines for Tuesday, December 13

NFL: DEC 04 Chiefs at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The latest

Travis Kelce is one of the best NFL players ever: Why he’s unique | ESPN

It’s reasonable to suggest Kelce was able to take his game to the next level by linking up with Mahomes. Of course, many other legendary tight ends in the league were able to play with legendary quarterbacks, too. Gronkowski spent his entire career with Tom Brady. Gates was in Southern California with Drew Brees and Philip Rivers. Most of Sharpe’s run was with John Elway under center. Kellen Winslow spent his career with Dan Fouts. Gonzalez and Ozzie Newsome are the exceptions here.

At the same time, Mahomes has only been in place for half of Kelce’s career. Alex Smith was under center for the first four seasons of Kelce’s run, and Kelce was in a near-dead heat with Gronkowski to lead the league in receiving yardage over that span when the Patriots star had the better quarterback of the two. Jimmy Graham, who was also in that conversation before suffering a serious injury in Seattle, spent his first decade in the league with Brees, Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers as his quarterbacks.

10 Quick Facts Following Sunday’s Week 14 Victory Over Denver | Upon Further Review | The Mothership

7. Punter Tommy Townsend had a sneaky great game.

Nobody wants to punt, but it’s going to happen from time to time, and the best teams employ punters who can serve as weapons that flip the field. Townsend has certainly been that for Kansas City this season, and he continued his stellar year on Sunday with three punts that traveled an average of 66.3 yards. His first punt, in particular, went 76 yards, which matches the second-longest punt by any player in a game this season.

Townsend’s average distance of 52.2 yards this year ranks second among all qualified punters.

Recent Kansas City Chiefs Acquisition Brandon Williams Has Impressive Debut | Forbes

Before joining the Chiefs, the 6-1, 335-pound Williams, who had another quarterback hit against the Broncos in addition to the half sack, had spent the previous nine years of his career with the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens thought so highly of him that they signed him to a five-year, $52.5 million contract extension during the 2017 offseason. He returned a fumble for a touchdown the ensuing season and received Pro Bowl honors the year after that.

His resume over 114 starts gave the Chiefs reason to sign him to one-year, $1.12 million contract. But in addition he had built a personal rapport with some of the Chiefs defensive staff.

Williams played under Chiefs defensive line coach Joe Cullen from 2016 to 2020 when Cullen held the same role with the Ravens.

“(They have) history,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. “Joe speaks very highly of him.”

2023 NFL Mock Draft: How long until Anthony Richardson is QB1? Four defensive players in top 5 | CBS Sports

Round 1 - Pick 29

Darnell Washington TE

GEORGIA

Arik Gilbert was the Georgia tight end to watch coming into the season, but it’s been Darnell Washington who has gotten scouts’ attention. He’s listed at 6-7, 265 pounds (he actually plays bigger than that), and while he’s growing into his role as a receiver, he’s essentially another offensive tackle when he’s inline. Basically, he’d serve two roles in Kansas City: receiver in a high-powered offense and an extra blocker.

Bengals player who faked injury during Chiefs game reportedly receives hefty fine | Kansas City Star

Not so coincidentally, Bengals safety Jessie Bates went down with a severe, agonizing injury at that very moment. OK, it wasn’t that bad because it was clear to everyone, including the CBS broadcasters, that Bates was faking the injury.

The NFL didn’t take kindly to Bates’ break in the game. The NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported this weekend that Bates had been fined $50,000 for “allegedly faking an injury.”

That’s a hefty penalty.

Bates was asked by The Athletic’s Jay Morrison if he planned to appeal the fine.

“For sure. I think Katie (Blackburn, Bengals’ executive vice president) and them are gonna appeal it for all of us.”

Falcons cut running back Damien Williams | The Falcoholic (Atlanta Falcons SB Nation site)

If you forgot about Williams, that is understandable. Despite being only two seasons from his ~500 rushing yard and ~200 receiving yard season with the Chiefs in 2019, he never found a home in Atlanta’s surprisingly crowded running back depth chart. More problematic is that Williams was injured back in September and spent too much time on injured reserve.

As you can probably tell from the introduction, things didn’t go well for Williams.

Williams had a mere two touches on 10 offensive snaps in Week 1. He produced two yards. That’s nothing against Williams who simply never got another opportunity. The Falcons cobbled together one of the league’s best run games with an on-the-wrong-side-of-30 Cordarrelle Patterson, 5th round rookie Tyler Allgeier, undrafted Caleb Huntley, and even converted defensive back Avery Williams.

Around the NFL

T.Y. Hilton, Cowboys Agree to Contract amid Odell Beckham Jr. Rumors | Bleacher Report

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Hilton’s deal has a max value of $1.5 million:

Head coach Mike McCarthy said Monday, per Jori Epstein of Yahoo Sports, that Hilton has a chance to play in Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Cowboys have been heavily linked with another free-agent wideout, Odell Beckham Jr. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Dallas and other teams in the hunt “are currently in a holding pattern while Beckham is at home considering his options.”

Cards’ Kyler Murray set for MRI on knee after leaving MNF on cart | ESPN

Murray is scheduled to undergo further testing on Tuesday, including an MRI, but a source told ESPN there is “little doubt that it’s torn,” referring to an ACL.

In his postgame news conference, Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury said Murray’s injury “doesn’t look good, but we’ll know more in the morning.”

“Obviously, it didn’t look good,” Kingsbury said. “I’ve never seen him in that type of shape, so I assumed it wasn’t good.”

Murray went down after a 3-yard run to the right on the third play of the game. The clock read 13:39 while Murray was attended to by team athletic trainers and doctors. He wasn’t touched before he went down.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Andy Reid has one word for Travis Kelce’s latest accomplishment: spectacular

And with 17 yards a safe number to assume for Kelce next week against the Houston Texans, he will pass Shannon Sharpe’s career yardage total (10,060) to stand alone at No. 4 on the tight end’s list for all-time receiving yardage. In addition, Kelce now has more than 1,000 yards on the season for the seventh straight year, three more seasons than the next tight ends in line at four: Tony Gonzalez, Rob Gronkowski and Jason Witten.

Kelce weighed in on his mind-blowing numbers after the game; head coach Andy Reid had a night to sleep on it before sharing his feelings early Monday afternoon.

“That one with Kelce last night, I thought, ‘Those are big numbers now,’ when you start talking about 10,000 receiving yards,” said Reid. “That’s a pretty good haul for a career, and then when you start stringing them together like he has — 1,000 yards for seven straight years. That’s pretty spectacular, too.”

The Chiefs drafted Kelce in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, but due to injury, he really didn’t get a chance to play until his second season in 2014.

On Monday, Reid also recalled what the remembered from watching the now-33-year-old as a college football player at Cincinnati.

“I thought he was really spectacular in college,” said Reid. “I had a chance to watch him in college when he was playing against Temple, where my son played, and then his brother (Jason Kelce), obviously — I had him and drafted him at Philly. I thought watching him at Cincinnati, I go, ‘This kid has a chance to be really something special,’ and I know (former Chiefs general manager) [John] Dorsey agreed with that.”

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