The Kansas City Chiefs opened their 2023 NFL season campaign against the Detroit Lions on Thursday with a disappointing home defeat. The star tight end Travis Kelce missed the season opener due to his knee injury and his absence was sorely felt by the Chiefs offense.
Mahomes and Kelce have formed one of the most formidable duos in recent NFL history, and their connection has been a key factor in the Chiefs’ success. Without Kelce, Mahomes was forced to rely heavily on his arm, and the Chiefs struggled to move the ball consistently.
It will be interesting to see how the Chiefs fare without Kelce for an extended period of time. The Chiefs have a talented roster, but they will need other players to step up in his absence.
What happens when Mahomes doesn’t have Kelce?
The Chiefs played their 2023 season debut on Thursday against the Detroit Lions. The defending champions, Chiefs faced a 20-21 defeat on their home ground at Arrowhead Stadium. Travis Kelce, a key player on their roster, suffered a hyperextended knee injury during Tuesday’s practice session and was absent from the game.
Regrettably, the ramifications of this news extend beyond just Travis Kelce, as it significantly affects the star quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. With Kelce on the field, Mahomes boasts an impressive 8.2 yards per attempt, but in his absence, that number dips to 7.2.
Furthermore, Mahomes’ quarterback rating takes a considerable hit, plummeting 14 points from 79 to 65 when he doesn’t have Kelce as a target. These statistics are undoubtedly cause for concern as the Chiefs approach their Week 1 matchup.
Mahomes’ Stats Without Kelce
Well, the Kansas City Chiefs are in a bit of jeopardy as their star player Travis Kelce hasn’t recovered from the injury. This will undoubtedly affect their chances of winning but it will severely impact the performance of their QB Patrick Mahomes.
In his career, Patrick Mahomes played 3 games without Travis Kelce and the performance was just average. With 768 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions, Patric Mahomes has a passer rating of 115.2 in these 3 games.
Patrick Mahomes played the first game on 31st Dec. 2017 without Travis Kelce against the Denver Broncos. In this game, he has a poor passer rating of 76.4 with 284 yards, 0 touchdowns with 1 interception. The second game was played against Pittsburgh Steelers on 26th Dec. 2021, where Mahome’s passer rating was 135.1 with 258 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions.
Mahomes played a third game against the Detroit Lions last Thursday without star tight end Travis Kelce. For 226 yards, Mahomes completed 21 of his 39 passes with two touchdowns and one interception. With 45 rushing yards on six carries, he led the team.
Patrick has very good coordination with Kelce in which on average he covered 303.8 yards with an average passer rating of 105.7 and 46 touchdowns. At the same time, Travis Kelce played a total of 78 games with Patrick Mahomes in his career. Kelce has 496 catches for 6,319 yards and scored 48 touchdowns with Patrick.
What Does It Mean for the Chiefs?
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs delivered a remarkable Super Bowl victory last season, despite the tensions that loomed over the 2022 offseason. Mahomes showcased his ability to win without Tyreek Hill and demonstrated exceptional leadership, even while nursing an injured ankle. However, one aspect he has not yet had to prove is his ability to perform at an elite level without Travis Kelce.
Mahomes has taken the field without Kelce on three occasions in his career, with two of those games resulting in victories. However, his third appearance without Kelce, in the season opener against the Detroit Lions, resulted in a home loss, making it a unique test of Mahomes’ adaptability.
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