“Raiders Week” is always a big deal for the Chiefs, and nobody knows that better than Kansas City’s Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce, who was asked if the rivalry was still significant to him during Thursday’s press conference.
“1,000 percent,” Kelce emphatically told reporters. “I really look at all three teams in the division as the rival. You can’t put one over the other in my mind. I know a lot of the history will tell you that Chiefs-Raiders is where it’s at, and then recently Chiefs-Broncos, but I think that Chiefs-Raiders will always be one of the biggest rivalries in football.
“Sure enough, you’ll probably see on [Saturday] how well we go at it.”
It’s safe to say Kelce loves playing the Raiders.
He’s scored a touchdown or gone for over 100 yards in four of the five games since the Raiders officially moved to Las Vegas in 2020. During Kansas City’s Week 5 matchup against them this season, Kelce practically lived in the endzone as he finished the day with four touchdown catches.
Kelce’s 12 receiving touchdowns this season is currently second-most in the NFL behind Las Vegas wideout Davonte Adams, while his 1300 receiving yards ranks him eighth amongst pass catchers. Individual performance aside, Kelce knows that the offense as a whole has yet to put together a complete game and looks forward to doing so against a solid Raiders defense.
“I respect a lot of guys over there,” Kelce noted. “They got a great defense, Maxx Crosby is playing as good as anybody in the National Football League — an absolute game-wrecker. We’re going to go in there and try to play our best football. I think we haven’t done that quite yet. There’s been glimpses of it — maybe a half here, three quarters there — but we got to go put out four quarters of Chiefs football the way we know how.”
Kelce and the Chiefs will have added motivation to beat the Raiders this Saturday as a win clinches the number-one seed in the AFC. Although the top seed will still guarantee them a first-round bye, it does not necessarily guarantee home-field advantage throughout the postseason under the new changes set by the NFL. Regardless of the reward for it, Kelce says the number-one seed was always Kansas City’s goal and remains a big motivator for the team as they close out the regular season.
“It’s been one of our goals since the beginning of the season – win the division, get the number one seed, be able to get an extra bye week in before the playoffs start,” Kelce said. “And that’s always on our mind, and we know that’s at stake – it’s been at stake, and we’ve been trying to play our tails off to put ourselves in the best position when it comes playoff time.”