Although the most followed story coming out of the Kansas City Chiefs' 27-20 playoff victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars will be the injury status of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, not to be overshadowed was the outstanding performance from tight end Travis Kelce.
Big games and record-breaking stat lines have become the norm for the superstar tight end, and Saturday's game was just another case of that, especially in the eyes of head coach Andy Reid.
"Every time I stand up here, I feel like [Kelce] breaks another record," Reid said during his postgame press conference. "He broke some records, and then he also had 98 yards and two touchdowns, so a great job there."
The record referenced by Reid was the postseason record for most receptions by a tight end in a single game, as Kelce finished the game with 14 catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
Jacksonville ranked amongst the bottom of the league at defending the position this season, allowing the eighth-most receptions per game to opposing tight ends, as well as the fourth-most total yards.
This led to Saturday's matchup being the perfect opportunity for Kelce to come up big for the Chiefs when they needed him the most.
"It's really all just predicated off of what goes on out there and how the defense reacts to what we're doing," he told reporters after the game. "I think it was just I got fortunate enough to be able to make those plays and have the pride to be able to make those plays every single day for this team. I take a lot on myself to be able to make those plays week in and week out, especially when we needed it the most."
Regardless of whoever on the Jaguars was tasked with defending him or whoever on the Chiefs was throwing him the ball, Kelce just found a way to make plays. This became even more critical once Mahomes left the game with an ankle injury at the end of the first quarter — something the Chiefs quarterback says is a testament to what makes Kelce such a special player.
"It's another guy who just steps up," Mahomes said of Kelce. "It seems like (Kelce) gets better and better in the playoffs as you get further and further in there. You need those type of guys. He did a great job of making some tough contested catches, and he's special man. He's a special — one of a kind player that's been one of the main reasons why we've been able to be in this position so many times."
Despite the praise, Kelce knows plenty more work to be done but isn't taking the big win for granted as the team gets set to appear in their fifth consecutive AFC Championship game next week.
"You just have to be appreciative of being in the situation that you get to play football for another week," Kelce noted. "I'm not looking past that. I'm not looking down the line. I'm trying to figure out how I can make my team better or how I can make myself better for my team throughout this week. It's going to be every single day attacking what I need to attack. The first couple of things is recovery. From there, it's just finding out the game plan — who we're playing and how we're going to attack them.
"Everybody's locked in right now. I think if you looked at that team out there, you saw everybody communicating — very well-coached team on all three phases. When we play like that, we give ourselves a really good chance of winning."