Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce relies on ‘instincts’ to make highlight-reel jukes

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) gained yardage against St. Louis Rams strong safety T.J. McDonald (25) and free safety Rodney McLeod (23) in the first half Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs beat the Rams 34-7.
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) gained yardage against St. Louis Rams strong safety T.J. McDonald (25) and free safety Rodney McLeod (23) in the first half Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs beat the Rams 34-7. The Kansas City Star

Travis Kelce had a nice game, recording four catches for 45 yards. But he also did it in style.

On a pair of his catches, the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Kelce caught the ball near the right sideline with his back to the corner, only to shoulder-fake outside and spin back inside to leave the defender reaching at air. The first, which came against former Missouri star E.J. Gaines, went for 17 yards, while the second, against safety T.J. McDonald, went for seven yards.

“That’s just instincts,” Kelce said, “feeling out where the defense is and making plays.”

When told that the move looked like the dream shake Hakeem Olajuwon used to do, Kelce smiled and noted that he does have a basketball background, which impressed fellow tight end Demetrius Harris, who played power forward at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before embarking on his football career.

“A fake half spin, it was just a great move, a great play to know the corner was outside and give him a fake outside, and then come back in,” Harris said. “That was just good awareness by Kelce.”

Harris was then asked how he’d rate Kelce’s dreamlike move.

“I’d give him a 10 because he can play (basketball), too,” Harris said. “He can play. He reminds me of a basketball player. He can play on the court, too.”

Ford’s first sack

It took seven games, but outside linebacker Dee Ford recorded his first career NFL sack on Sunday.

Ford, the Chiefs’ first-round pick in this year’s draft, received a half sack in the fourth quarter when he and defensive end Allen Bailey engulfed Rams quarterback Austin Davis for a 4-yard loss.

When Ford rose to his feet, he was visibly pumped up, as he celebrated the moment by shaking his fists and nodding his head.

“Because it’s hard to get there,” Ford said of his celebration. “It’s hard to get there. I could do that same move and get that same result (against the tackle) and sometimes (the quarterback) can get the ball out. It’s just all about once you’re there, making the tackle.”

Ford, who had also failed to record a tackle entering the game, finished with two.

Nixon presents Governor’s Cup to Reid

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon presented Chiefs coach Andy Reid with the Governor’s Cup following Sunday’s victory over the Rams.

The Chiefs have beaten St. Louis six straight times but reclaimed the Governor’s Cup, which St. Louis possessed by virtue of a 2012 preseason win.

“It’s an incredible sports time for Kansas City,” said Nixon, before he presented the cup to Reid. “If you look at the World Series, and the Governor’s Cup game here … these two incredibly beautiful stadiums that have been refurbished and made the best in the league, it’s a great week to be in Kansas City.”

Colquitt reaches milestone

By dropping three punts inside the 20-yard line Sunday, Dustin Colquitt became the tenth punter in NFL history to crack the 300 barrier in that category. Houston’s Shane Lechler, who entered Sunday with 369, is the only active player with more punts inside the 20 than Colquitt, who has 301.

“As a punter, you’re trying to get as many as you can inside the 20,” Colquitt said. “Anytime you can do that, you know you at least (make) the offense be creative from there.”

Chiefs inactives

Chiefs safety Eric Berry sat for the fifth consecutive game with a high ankle sprain. Berry was listed as questionable before the game, which means he had a 50/50 chance of playing. Berry got hurt in week two against the Denver Broncos.

Ron Parker got the start in Berry’s place.

The Chiefs’ other inactives were quarterback Aaron Murray, receiver Donnie Avery, cornerback Chris Owens, center Eric Kush, guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and defensive end Damion Square.

Chiefs injuries

Starting cornerback Jamell Fleming left midway through the game with a hamstring injury. He did not return.

Starting nickel corner Phillip Gaines took his place in the base defense. In the subpackages, Gaines shifted inside to the nickel while Marcus Cooper, who started the first five games before he was benched a week ago, played on the outside.

Outside linebacker Josh Martin also left the game with a hamstring injury. He did not return.


▪ The Chiefs’ 34-7 win over the Rams marked the second time this season they have beaten a team by exactly 27 points, as they also beat the Patriots 41-14 on a month ago.

▪ The Chiefs allowed seven or fewer points for the first time since a 24-7 win over Oakland on Oct. 13, 2013.

▪ Through week eight, the Chiefs are the only team in the NFL to not allow a rushing touchdown on defense. Seattle has allowed two.

▪ The Chiefs allowed 200 yards of offense, which is the fewest they have surrendered this season.

▪ Running back Jamaal Charles has recorded 25 touchdowns since the start of the 2013 season, which is more than any other player in the NFL. Denver’s Julius Thomas is second with 21.

Charles is also one touchdown away from becoming the seventh player in franchise history to record 50 or more offensive touchdowns.

▪ With his 99-yard score Sunday and his 108-yard return against Denver last year, running back Knile Davis is just the fourth player in franchise history to record at least two career kickoff return touchdowns. He now owns two of the six longest kick return touchdowns in franchise history.

The Star’s Randy Covitz contributed to this report. To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to Follow him on Twitter: @TerezPaylor.