By Omar Ureña (Máximo Avance)
Football is a chess in motion. Inside the board, as in the gridiron, there are essential pieces.
The Kansas City Chiefs offensive line is the pawns, the king is Patrick Mahomes, while Travis Kelce, in terms of tight end accountability, developed into a solid rook traveling long routes, and which is enhanced by the creativity of Andy Reid; however, the teacher is offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who has built a powerful army within a multidimensional NFL.
In the postseason Kelce has 5 TDs and caught 34 passes for 564 yards. These numbers prompted him to return to the Super Bowl, this time facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in a game that features two of the best tight ends in history. After a year of retirement, Rob Gronkowski returned. Comparisons were made immediately.
Rob Gronkowski is number one among tight ends in the postseason with 83 receptions for 1,206 yards and 12 touchdowns. Second place in each category is Travis Kelce with 73 receptions, 859 yards and 9 touchdowns. Gronkowski’s dominance as a blocker and receiver has been an inspiration to Travis that has turned him into a dangerous rook that attacks and puts the enemy in check.
The chess game is ready. Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy will try to go all out against coach Todd Bowles’ Bucs defense, maximizing the vision of Kelce who will cross the red zone between knights, pawns and bishops. Kelce doesn’t look down on Tampa Bay’s safeties.
“I have a lot of respect for the secondary and how they played, how physical they are in terms of the line of scrimmage within 5 yards, their job is to mess the routes of the receivers,” said the tight end – the Tampa Bay defense recorded in the playoffs 7 turnovers, 5 interceptions and 2 fumbles.
There was already a game between the Chiefs and the Buccaneers in the 2020 season. Kelce had 8 receptions for 82 yards. The Bucs were busy covering Kelce and dared to cover Tyreek Hill one-on-one with Carlton Davis. Mahomes threw the ball to Hill 15 times, completing 13 for 269 yards and three touchdowns; in the game he finished with 462 yards, while Brady passed for 345 yards. Kansas City beat Tampa Bay 27-24 at Raymond James Stadium.
In the AFC Championship Game against the Bills, Kelce tied Hall of Famers Shannon Sharpe (1994) and Kellen Winslow Sr. (1982) for the most receptions by a tight end in a single playoff game in NFL history. He had 13 receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
Travis is a proud hero who plays chess to beat defenses, his instincts help him visualize big plays. He is a brave receiver who won Super Bowl LIV before the virus exploded and yet he has a chip on his shoulder.
“I’ve never beaten Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady in the playoffs, I feel like this game is another opportunity for me to get a tally on the board in the W column.”
Travis Kelce will make sure to fight towering tough for his dream in the toughest season ever played in the NFL. He is excited for the whole world to see him in the Super Bowl putting his heart into every play and every second until he and the Chiefs Kingdom checkmate the Buccaneers at home.
Follow Omar Ureña on Twitter: @omarurena_