Chiefs tight ends power offensive attack in win over Jets - KCTV5

Chiefs tight ends power offensive attack in win over Jets

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Travis Kelce led all offensive players with seven total targets. He was also the only offensive player to log a touchdown, with his 12-yard touchdown in the first quarter. (AP PHOTO) Travis Kelce led all offensive players with seven total targets. He was also the only offensive player to log a touchdown, with his 12-yard touchdown in the first quarter. (AP PHOTO)

KANSAS CITY, MO (FOOTBALL KC) – While the Kansas City Chiefs defense shined brightest Sunday afternoon, the offense held their own against a solid New York Jets defense.

After failing to score a touchdown last week in Houston, quarterback Alex Smith and the tight end group stepped up to help give the Chiefs a 24-3 victory. 

One of the biggest areas of improvement for the Kansas City offense came on third down.

The Chiefs were just 5-14 against the Chargers and 3-14 against the Texans. Kansas City finished 7-15 this week, but started the game 5-6 and 7-11, which helped propel them to an early 17-0 lead.

Three of the seven Chief conversions were to tight-ends, and Smith targeted those tight ends 12 times on the day.

Travis Kelce led all offensive players with seven total targets. He was also the only offensive player to log a touchdown, with his 12-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

Kelce’s biggest contribution was opening up the downfield passing attack, as his 42-yard competition in the third quarter was the longest play of the day for either team. Kelce hauled in six of his seven targets and churned out 89 total yards. His 14.8 yards per catch was tops on the team.

While the likes of Demetrius Harris, Ross Travis and James O'shaughnessy don’t have those kind of stats, they played a big role in the outcome.

At one point in the game, the Chiefs sent all four tight ends in for one play, and Harris even made an impact on special teams with a fumble recovery that he took back for a touchdown.

The Chiefs got the ball to their tight ends early and often, with six of Smith’s first 10 passes sent a tight end’s direction.

This was vital to the Chiefs’ attack because it opened up the field for the wide receivers and running backs. The linebackers could no longer wait in the box and let Kelce get a full head of steam up field, and safeties had to help over the top while Maclin and Conley popped free with quick screen passes.

This allowed Smith to spread the ball around to nine different Chief receivers and do so at an efficient rate. Smith finished the day 25 for 33 with 237 yards total, good for 7.4 yards per completion.

The running backs faced a tough task against a solid Jets defensive line, so the offensive game plan figured to lean on Smith. After a rough week in Houston where Smith only found his tight ends for 34 total yards, the jump up to 113 yards this week was much needed.

The offensive line also deserves credit for their performance, as a hobbled starting five gave up only two sacks on the day. Zach Devey and Zach Fulton filled in Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Parker Ehinger, and for the most part did not miss a beat. 

There was even a slight improvement between Smith and Conley’s connection, with the former Georgia wideout bringing in three of five targets for 44 yards. This comes after a just two catch performance last week, where he finished with just 15 yards.

Looking ahead to Pittsburgh in week four, the Chiefs will need another big performance out of Kelce and their tight ends.

Kelce scored his first touchdown of the year this week, and Smith needs to continue looking for his big tight ends in the red zone. They’ll need to play even better near the goal line next week if they wish to keep up with the Steelers offense.

Kickoff from Pittsburgh is set for Sunday night at 7:30 p.m.

Copyright 2016 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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