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#1 01/06/2023 16:22:14


Messages : 332

Whats wrong with Travis Kelce Tight ends

Perhaps the biggest story in the NFL over the last several weeks has been the downward spiral of the offense.The two-time defending AFC champions -- who blitzed the league for the better part of three-plus seasons --  Ugo Amadi Jersey have scored just 36 combined points acro s their most recent three games. Their offense has posted a negative Expected Points Added mark in three of the last five contests, according to Pro-Football-Reference. By way of perspective, consider that the offense had three such games in 2018, 2019, and 2020 combined.Most of the discu sion regarding what the heck is happening here has focused on what's going on with . His backslide over the last few games has left him with career-low numbers basically acro s the board: completion percentage, yards per attempt, pa ser rating, QBR, sack rate, air yards per attempt, yards after catch per completion, EPA per dropback, and more. He seems off rhythm, off balance, just generally off his game. It's disconcerting to watch.The general consensus seems to have landed on "defenses are playing more two-high safety coverages to take away the deep pa sing game, and that's throwing him off." There's some truth to that. Defenses are certainly playing more Cover-2, 2-Man, Cover-4, and even Cover-6 against Kansas City, and le s Cover-1 and Cover-3. According to TruMedia, opposing defenses have utilized coverages at the following rates during the Mahomes era:  YearCover-0 %Cover-1 %Cover-2 %2-Man %Cover-3 %Cover-4 %Cover-6 %20183.4%23.2%10.5%2.1%32.0%11.3%9.2%20192.8%34.6%13.1%3.5%25.5%8.3%6.8%20205.0%22.3% Jason Myers Jersey 10.1%2.4%29.4%17.1%6.7%20210.8%16.5%12.9%5.8%24.3%20.5%11.9%The shift in coverage usage is certainly interesting and the Chiefs are indeed not performing as well against those coverages as in the past (0.18 EPA per dropback, compared with 0.28 acro s the previous three seasons); what I find most fascinating here is that at the same time teams have dramatically ramped down their usage of man coverage against the Chiefs, one of their best players has seemingly lost the ability to thrive against man coverage.Which is why I want to focus on this question: What's going on with ?The best tight end in the league over the last few years, Kelce has not looked like the same guy for much of this year. Like Mahomes, he is working on career-low averages in a number of categories, most L.J. Collier Jersey  notably yards per reception (11.6, down from 13.5 a year ago) and yards per target (7.9, down from 9.8). Kelce's 6.0 catches and 69.8 yards per game averages, as well as his 68 percent catch rate are the lowest they've been since 2017.On tape and in the numbers, the i sue comes down to his inability to win against man coverage at the moment. And it seemingly goes back to the stinger he suffered during the team's lo s to the back in Week 5, and the elbow injury he suffered the following week.To wit: In Weeks 1 through 5, Kelce ran 50 routes against defenses playing man, according to TruMedia. On those 50 routes. he drew 14 targets -- a 28% target rate. He turned those 14 targets into eight catches for 96 yards and a touchdown, as well as three explosive plays. That was good for an average of 1.92 yards per route run, which was right in line with his season-long average through five weeks (192 routes, 42 targets, 30 catches, 369 yards, four scores, six explosives, 1.92 yards per route run).Since Week 6, Kelce has run 35 routes against man and been targeted nine times -- a 25.7% rate. Incredibly, he has just TWO catches for 14 yards on those nine targets. That's 0.40 yards per route run. It's brought his overall yards per route run average during that period down to just 1.50.If you take a look at some of his routes against man, it's not hard to see a difference. Watch how easily he got separation and created explosive plays against the earlier Ethan Pocic Jersey  in the season.And then watch how much he struggles to get separation against weaker defenses over the last several weeks. Whether isolated in space on the back side of trips formations, aligned in the slot, lined up outside, or working as an in-line tight end, he has not been able to generate as much room between himself and his defender as he usually does.This is what playing while banged up does to a 32-year-old tight end. If you don't have the same type of movement skills that you've used to easily separate from even top cornerbacks throughout your career, and you're still seeing the top coverage players because you are still TRAVIS KELCE, you're going to struggle to do the same things you've done in the past.Kelce's inability to make opposing defenses pay in man coverage has allowed them to roll coverage more aggre sively toward when the do play man, Nazair Jones Jersey  which has had the knock-on effect of making Kansas City le s effective against that coverage overall. With defenses also taking away the deep ball via two-high shells and deep cro sing routes by playing more quarters, it has left the Chiefs with only the option of slowly matriculating the ball downfield with pa ses thrown right in front of the line of scrimmage. But neither Kelce nor Hill is gaining as many yards after the catch as they have in the past, in large part because of that lack of separation.Everything is connected, and right now, none of it is going Kansas City's way. Perhaps the Chiefs can get healthier when they take their bye in a couple weeks, but barring that, they might need to make some structural and/or alignment changes in order to get one of their most important weapons into better position to create the type of separation he needs to make himself a premier target again.

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