We all know Travis Kelce helped the Kansas City Chiefs win their overtime thriller against the the Buffalo Bills on January 23 with his toe-tapping walk-off touchdown. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes said that the tight end’s football awareness also saved the game.
Rewind back to eight seconds on the clock in regulation. Mahomes had just hit Tyreek Hill for a 19-yard strike on first down, setting up a do-or-die moment from the Chiefs’ 44-yard line.
It was the stuff legends are made of, and Kansas City may never see another combination as clutch and legendary as Mahomes to Kelce. The conversion itself was unbelievable but the explanation from the QB only added to its greatness.
ALL the latest Chiefs news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Chiefs newsletter here!
Mahomes Provides Look Behind the Curtain
During his postgame press conference, reporters asked Mahomes to detail those final 13 seconds of regulation and his response gave some inside information on the improbable comeback.
We believe. I think that’s the biggest thing on this team is we believe no matter what. Offense, defense, special teams, that we can do the job in order to win the football game. The first play, we hit Tyreek [Hill] and he got as much as he [could], got down, and then the play to Travis [Kelce], it was kind of a thing where he wasn’t necessarily supposed to do that but after the timeout, we got a look at what the defense was doing, and he actually said it to me. He was like — ‘hey, if they do it again, I’m going to take it right down the middle between both the guys guarding me’ — and he went up the field, I gave him the ball and he got into field goal range.
Let me get this straight, a Kelce pre-snap hot route just saved the Chiefs season?!
This game was one of the more insane finishes that the NFL has seen in recent history and the more details that emerge, the more its prestige grows. SportsCenter tweeted out a win probability graph for Bills vs. Chiefs and the final two minutes speak for itself.
Follow the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest KC-related daily content, analysis, features and more!
Kelce Reacts to ‘Grim Reaper Game’
“The Buffalo Bills are one of the best football teams in the National Football League,” he voiced. “They proved it tonight. It was a situation where it kind of was, whoever had the ball last was going to win that game. Both offenses were hitting up and down the field just about all night. I was glad our guys persevered for that win and battled our tails off for it.”
On the season-saving play, the superstar TE confirmed Mahomes’ side of the story.
He explained: “It’s a pretty common defense in a situation like that. The defense will try and take away the sideline throws to kind of give you more of the seams and the middle of the field open. That and they’re soft [in coverage] and obviously, you can get a head start. I just told him right before — they called a timeout right before we went out there and ran that play. I told him I’m probably not going to run the route that is called, I’m just going to run to the open area. Probably midway through his cadence, he was screaming at me at the line of scrimmage, ‘do it.’ Like — ‘Do it! Do it!’ — I was just like alright here we go boys. It was just a little backyard football with a couple of seconds left that gave us an opportunity to [take the game into overtime].”
Kelce added: “When you’re a little kid, you’re jumping and running around acting like you’re Michael Jordan or something with three seconds left on the clock. You naturally start to count in your head and you start to understand how many seconds you really [have]. From there, it was just going out and making sure I got the catch, and got down and called timeout.”
There you go kids, don’t ever stop dreaming you’re Travis Kelce or Patrick Mahomes because if you practice hard enough and put the work in, you just might become them.
As for his relationship with Mahomes and Hill — the three-headed dragon that never ceases to amaze — Kelce had nothing but love and respect.
He stated: “I can’t even put it into words. How much work we put in together and how much fun we have doing that, and then to go out there and put our entire goals, dreams, aspirations out there and just bleed for every single person on this team and for every single person in that stadium wearing red, man. That was a fun experience. I’ll remember the catch and seeing Tyreek standing over me calling game and seeing Pat running over to me. I’ll remember that for the rest of my life.”