Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and his older brother — Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce — host a weekly podcast called "New Heights." The title is an homage to the Cleveland Heights, Ohio, neighborhood in which they grew up.
The Chiefs stopped their two-game losing skid by traveling to Foxborough Stadium and walking away with a double-digit victory over the New England Patriots. At the same time, the Eagles’ struggles continued — largely because of the heroics shown by Kansas City native, former Missouri Tigers (and current Seattle Seahawks) quarterback Drew Lock. The brothers also discussed who they’d like to see as the next head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.
"New Heights" with Jason & Travis Kelce | Jukes Original Presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment | You can also listen to the show on Spotify.
1. Trick play inspiration
With 1:30 left in the first quarter in Sunday’s game — and with no score — the Chiefs had a first-and-goal from the 4-yard line. So they did what any team would do: they had quarterback Patrick Mahomes line up in the backfield in a three-point stance and shifted left guard Joe Thuney to the right of center Creed Humphrey. Thuney snapped the ball to running back Jerick McKinnon, who flipped a pass to wide receiver Rashee Rice — who went into the end zone behind a trio of Kansas City blockers.
There was so much going on in this play that when you watched it in real time, you couldn’t take it all in; it was a confusing mass of players doing things you’re not used to seeing them do. But for that reason, it worked. The Patriots were left in disarray — which led to an easy touchdown for Rice.
The trick play the Chiefs used on Sunday was a doozy— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) December 19, 2023
The center and LG swapped positions Thuney snapped the ball and Creed pulled like he’s at LG
So on the ball (L to R on screen)
WR, RT, LT, C, LG (snapping the ball), RG, TE.
Then went with a wing + FB +… pic.twitter.com/7iqrJMqWOB
Travis said that when head coach Andy Reid first presented the play to the team, it was in the form of grainy footage from a game in the 1940s.
“It’s always so funny introducing these plays,” he said, “because it’s always from a TV copy from a game where you can barely see where the guys are lined up, and it just looks like commotion. It just looks like sh*t’s going on. You really don’t know where the ball is, because the picture isn’t that clear.”
Travis said that right from the start, everyone knew it was going to work. But with so many moving pieces, it took time to perfect it.
“We’ve been working on it for probably the last 10 weeks,” he revealed.
The only difference is that McKinnon usually hands the ball to the receiver — but on Sunday, he decided to toss it. Jason and Travis joked that this was because McKinnon wanted a passing touchdown on his stat sheet.
2. Back in the win column
Nobody likes losing. Not the players. Not the fans. Not the Swifties who are hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite singer on the broadcast.
“The L train sucks,” said Travis. “F*ck that.” But winning, he said, is “f*cking exhilarating.”
Even though the Patriots appeared to be outmatched from the start of Sunday’s game, there’s no such thing as an easy NFL game. Still — unlike some other recent matchups — Kansas City was able to put the game away.
“We were able to put up some points, man,” said Travis.
It was, however, far from a perfect victory. The offense committed a couple of turnovers — one of which was overturned by a penalty on New England.
“[We’ve] got to continue to cut back on the turnovers that we’re doing on the offense,” said Travis, “but at the end of the day, we came together as a team and found a way to win.”
3. The Chargers’ new head coach
One thing that’s important for Kansas City fans to remember is that it could always be worse. We could be fans of the Chargers, who fired head coach Brandon Staley (and general manager Tom Telesco) following Week 15’s 63-21 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Internet, of course, has already provided a lot of suggestions for Staley’s replacement. Travis has an idea of his own.
“F*cking go get like a young, never-heard-of college coach,” he joked. “I don’t want a f*cking good coach to come into my division. Get the f*ck outta here!”
Travis doubled down on his wish for the Chargers to fail in their search for organizational leadership that will bring them sustained success
“I f*cking hope they hire some jabroni, man. I hope they hire two jabronis who don’t know what the f*ck they are doing — and that we are talking about this [again] in three years.”
Travis doesn’t believe that if he becomes available, New England head coach Bill Belichick would fit into his plan for the Chargers.
“Nope, don’t want to see it,” he declared. “I hope they get some trash a** coach that nobody knows.”