Chiefs Provide Interesting Challenge

Tight End Travis Kelce Is Coming In To His Own

I don't like to put too much stock in Fantasy Football's relationship to Reality Football, but there's one statistic that is intriguing, and seemingly true-to-life:

The Chargers defense is the best in the NFL against opposing tight ends.

Sure, they haven't played many (if any) really good tight ends in 2014, but that doesn't change the fact the Bolts have had a whammy against that particular position. I can come up with two reasons why:

1) They get to practice against Antonio Gates every day, and if you don't get really good going against that cat, you're borderline hopeless.

2) Eric Weddle.

Usually, teams think they've got a mismatch if they can isolate a tight end on a safety. However, the All-Pro has been extremely good in coverage against me who are routinely six inches and 60 pounds bigger than he is.

Guys like Chiefs monster Travis Kelce, who is emerging as one of the most dangerous weapons in the Kansas City attack. Kelce missed his rookie season with a knee injury, but he's figuring it out in his second year.

Kelce has made 20 catches with 17 of them ending with either a first down or a touchdown. He's already the favorite receiver of Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, even though he's still only playing around half the team's offensive snaps.

He's caught a touchdown in three straight games, and it'll very likely be Weddle who's tasked with snapping the scoring streak. In out outstanding example, Week 4 of last year, Weddle spent a majority of his afternoon chasing around Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (a future Hall of Famer) and held him to one of his lowest yardage totals of the season.

This is the first real tight end test the Bolts will face this season, so it's logical to think Weddle has the right of first refusal in covering Kelce.

"Not to give everything away," said Chargers Defensive Coordinator John Pagano, "but I think there could be some situations where we'll put Eric in to cover a tight end."

That's about as close as a confirmation as an NFL coach will provide.

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