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.
In the latest episode, the brothers do their best to focus on the upside after both of their teams lost their Week 13 games. (The Green Bay Packers defeated the Chiefs 27-19 and the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Eagles 42-19). Plus... the brothers talked about the favorite cereals, what’s allowed in NFL touchdown celebrations and undefeated Florida State being snubbed from the college football playoffs.
"New Heights" with Jason & Travis Kelce | Jukes Original Presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment | You can also listen to the show on Spotify.
1. The Chiefs have to finish drives
For many reasons, Kansas City’s loss in Green Bay was a tough pill to swallow. One of the biggest was that the offense moved the ball pretty well through much of the game.
“We were in the game [from] start to finish,” said Travis. “We still had a chance to tie it there at the end and go into OT.”
Travis believes there was much to like about how his teammates played.
“I think we played pretty damn good,” he declared. “In terms of moving the ball, we had a 13-play drive — and I think a 14-play drive — both ending up in points.”
There was just one problem, though.
“Getting down to the 5-yard line and having to settle for a field goal?” noted Travis. “That’s the difference between 14-6 and 14-14 [when you’re] going into the third quarter... Trying to score touchdowns instead of field goals is always the game plan, but that’s huge going into the second half.”
It also didn’t help that the Packers also put together long drives, which limited Kansas City’s possessions.
“We had that one three-and-out — and that felt like one of the biggest drives of the game,” recalled Travis, referring to a pivotal possession early in the fourth quarter — when the Chiefs were down 21-19.
But according to Travis, the team is determined to right the ship.
“We’ve got a lot of great character guys in this building — that give a damn and want to get sh*t fixed,” he insisted, “and we’re going to get it fixed.”
2. Missed calls during the final drive in Green Bay
The Chiefs' final possession on Sunday was one of the wildest of the season. When it began, Kansas City was down by eight points. While the Chiefs had no timeouts, there was 1:09 left.
First, a questionable personal foul for a late hit on quarterback Patrick Mahomes on the sideline gave Kansas City an extra 15 yards after a 10-yard gain.
Then — after what looked like a fumble by wide receiver Rashee Rice — the Packers picked up the ball and ran for a touchdown. As that happened, running back Isiah Pacheco got into an altercation in which he punched a Green Bay player. On review, officials ruled the play was dead before the fumble; Rice had been down by contract. But since the play wasn’t whistled dead, Pacheco was in a position to be penalized 15 yards — and be ejected.
Still, there were 49 seconds left — and the Chiefs had the ball at midfield. Mahomes uncorked a deep pass. But at the 5-yard line, wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling was mugged by a defensive back. No catch — and following a clear case of pass interference, there was no flag, either.
Travis took the high road.
“Going into that final drive, we had all of the confidence in the world that we could score a touchdown,” he said, “and we had a good two-point play in the holster... It’s frustrating the way it happened — but you’ve got to try and keep yourself out of that situation.”
3. Florida State getting hosed
Over the weekend, the College Football Playoffs selection committee chose not to move the undefeated ACC champions — the Florida State Seminoles — into the playoffs, citing the injury to the Seminoles’ star quarterback Jordan Travis.
Instead, the selection committee included Texas and Alabama — two teams that each have a loss this season — alongside the top-ranked Michigan Wolverines. Earlier this season, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh was suspended for his role in a cheating scandal that rocked the university.
Jason agrees that Alabama should be in the playoffs — but isn’t buying the committee's argument about Florida State.
“I don’t care who their quarterback is now; I don’t care who their coach is now. Did that team and that group of players earn the right to go there? That’s the only reason I have an issue. The reason they gave? I don’t think it’s a fair one.
“If I’m on a team — and we as a team won all of these games — and now you’re going to say that we didn’t get in because we didn’t earn it?” he asked incredulously.
Travis agreed wholeheartedly.
“If I was a player there,” he said, “I’d be pretty f*cking pissed.”