By Alex Raskin Sports Editor for Dailymail.com and Associated Press
12:57 25 October 2023, updated 13:55 25 October 2023
- Kelce is averaging 99 yards a game with Swift on hand and 45 yards otherwise
- The tight end acknowledged the trend to listeners: “How could I not have known about this?”
- DailyMail.com provides the latest international sports news
As Swifties and fantasy football fans are well aware, Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce did better with his new girlfriend, Taylor Swift, in attendance.
Now, on the latest episode of his “New Heights” podcast, Travis cedes just as much to his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce.
“How could I not have known about this?” Travis said.
As Jason pointed out, there’s a stark contrast for Travis when Swift was around this season.
“We all saw that Taylor was present, and turns out it was good that she was present because they raised your stats,” Jason began.
‘When T Swift is in the game, your average is 99 yards; “When the rest of your friends and family are there, your average is 46.5 yards,” he continued. “It’s not just social media that’s noticed, Big Red seems to have noticed as well.”
In this case, “Big Red” appears to be a reference to Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who has enjoyed discussing Travis’ relationship with Swift with the media.
“He was asked about your big game and he said, ‘Kelce is getting better over time, and Taylor can stay anywhere you want,’” Jason said, accurately quoting Reid’s comments after Sunday’s 31-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
This Kansas City Chiefs season may one day be remembered for two different eras: pre-Taylor and post-Taylor.
Whether it was coincidence, fate or a function of true love, the leader’s tight end has been torn ever since his overtures to the pop star led to a new relationship. Travis was out with a hyperextended knee in Week 1, when the Chiefs lost to the Lions, and had four catches for 26 yards in his return against the Jaguars. But in the six games since Swift first saw Travis play, he’s caught 48 passes for 499 yards and four touchdowns.
That includes a 12-catch performance for 179 yards and a score in a 31-17 win over the Chargers on Sunday, when Swift returned to the Arrowhead Stadium suite for Brittany Mahomes, wife of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
In the four games Swift attended, Travis averaged 108 yards receiving. He averaged 46.5 in the two games she didn’t.
There is a possibility that Travis is defying logic by getting better with age.
Even though he turned 34 earlier this month, the same age as retired Rob Gronkowski, Travis continues to make plays that make everyone wonder how he did it. Take, for example, his game against the Chargers, a top-flight opponent he has seen multiple times but has been powerless to prevent from finding open nooks and crannies in their defense.
In one instance, Travis found a gaping hole and ran 54 yards before the Chargers finally brought him down.
“A younger Trav would have scored at that moment, I’ll say that,” Mahomes said with a smile.
Maybe he wasn’t that open. Mahomes said the biggest difference between the 34-year-old Travis, who took the league by storm a decade ago, is his ability to diagnose what the defense is doing, then quickly find a way to address it.
“He’s played on every team and in every coverage, and he knows all the ways to make them pay,” Mahomes said.
This is true regardless of whether Swift is home or not.
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