Not long ago, Rob Gronkowski created more matchup nightmares than any tight end in football. Now, that title belongs to Travis Kelce of the Chiefs.
On Monday, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians gave some early thoughts on having to deal with Kelce in 13 days.
“It’s really hard,” Arians told reporters. “He reminds me a lot of Tony Gonzalez back when he was unbelievable, just trying to stop him. He’s got wide receiver skills and he runs like a wide receiver. He runs routes like a wideout [and] he beats corners. It’s a hard, hard challenge, but [defensive coordinate] Todd [Bowles] will come up with some schemes. Again, we’ve got to get after the quarterback and we can’t let [Patrick Mahomes] run around and make those plays that he and Kelce do so well.”
They did it very well on Sunday. Mahomes targeted Kelce 15 times. Kelce caught 13 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
And it’s not like that happened because the Bills took away receiver Tyreek Hill. He had nine catches for 172 yards.
So it’s really not a pick-your-poison proposition when facing the Chiefs. You’ll be taking both poisons, and hoping that your own offense will score enough points to keep you alive.