There wasn’t the slightest hint of optimism or satisfaction with his individual performance in the voice of Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce as he spoke softly late Monday night and packed up his gear inside a cramped visitors locker room at L.A. Memorial Coliseum.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Kelce registered the fourth 100-yard receiving game of the 2018 season, hauling in 10 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown, as the Chiefs lost a high-scoring slugfest that featured a combined 891 passing yards and 10 passing touchdowns.
Those individual stats amounted to one huge moot point in Kelce’s eyes after the Chiefs’ 54-51 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the second three-point loss of the season for his 9-2 team.
“Maybe you can take something here and there,” Kelce said. “The best probably you can take from it is how you lose the game, a lot of mistake here and there. Too many dropped balls, I had a couple missed assignments in terms of blocks. That’s just unacceptable.”
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Kelce extended his streak of consecutive games with a catch to 74, and he now has 67 receptions and 914 receiving yards this season. With five regular-season games remaining for the Chiefs, he appears almost certain to surpass the 1,000-yard receiving plateau for the third consecutive season.
But a pair of fourth-quarter drops — and the loss — lingered with Kelce as the Chiefs head into their bye week.
The Chiefs scored a season-high 51 points and quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 478 yards and six touchdowns. Tyreek Hill surpassed 1,000 yards receiving for the season with a career-high 215 yards on 10 catches.
The two offenses combined for a Monday Night Football-record 105 points, a Chiefs franchise record for points in a game.
But the points left on the field were what stayed with Kelce. After all, the Chiefs’ offense had always seemed to come through when it had to this season.
Even in their loss at New England, the Patriots won only by virtue of holding the ball last and kicking a field goal as time expired.
This time around, the Chiefs’ last two possessions ended with interceptions. On the interception Mahomes threw to former Chiefs defensive back Marcus Peters, Rams outside linebacker Samson Ebukam beat a Kelce block and hit Mahomes as he threw — causing Mahomes’ errant pass.
“We had full confidence in our ability, for sure,” Kelce said. “We just came up short.”
The Chiefs next play against the division-rival Raiders at Oakland Coliseum on Dec. 2.