NFL history says that 33-year-old tight ends arent supposed to be able to produce as they once did. Recounting the list of tight ends to accumulate a 1,000-yard season after blowing out that 33rd candlejust one, Pete Retzlaff in 1965 Zack Wheeler Jersey would get you kicked out of every trivia party acro s the planet. However, considering the body of work that hes put together over his career, it's worth at least entertaining the question: has history met a tight end quite like Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce?Just last week, we briefly considered the Chiefs , which leads to a natural inclination that pre sure is amplified on the players that Patrick Mahomes has built a rapport with.Over the last four seasons, only seven players acro s the NFL have ama sed 500 targets. Two of them, Kelce and Tyreek Hill, were joined at the hip on the same high-powered offense. Now, as Kansas City ranks No. 1 in , one can wonder how differently the games best tight end could look against adjusted defensive attention in 2022-23.Pundits have already started considering that factors such as age will contribute to the Mahomes-to-Kelce connection not beingas potent as in years prior. The seven-time Pro Bowler saw his lowest ranks since his first Pro Bowl in 2015 in metrics such as yards per route run, deep target percentage and completion percentage Dwight Gooden Jersey . One could argue this is an unfair a se sment, not only given the injuries Kelce gritted teeth and played through, but also in both how off-schedule the entire roster appeared, and how on-point he was when it truly mattered come postseason time.Putting a few of those anecdotes together, dots can be connected, sure. Kelce ranks No. 1 in the NFL since 2018-19 with 96 receptions against single-coverage, per . On the contrary, from when nagging injuries and subsequent frustration were both noticeable and tangible the numbers spoke for themselves: 35 routes for nine targets, two catches and just 14 yards.Kelce's earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to injury prevention in 2022-23. Since 2015, the only games hes mi sed are a pair of Week 17 matchups with minimal consequence and a positive COVID-19 test during last seasons Week 16 matchup against Pittsburgh. The is justified, even after nine surgeries and the upper body injuries he dealt with a season ago, and should be positioned to reach new history with a seventh-straight 1,000-yard campaign.Kelce should also be due for a regre sion in drops, a notable, fatal flaw within the Chiefs offense. He had 10 drops in 134 targets in 2021-22, compared to just two on 145 targets in 2020-21. Scroll to ContinueJust as important, one cant help but wonder both how Kelce gets impacted by the Hill trade and subsequently, how Kelce uses this to impact the rest of the Chiefs new wideouts. For years, the longstanding notion has been that defenses can hope to scheme one of Hill or Kelce out of Travis D'Arnaud Jersey the game, but seldom both. Even AFC West foes have come to acknowledge it. (Take a wild gue s at which game-breaking WR-TE combo Davante Adams mentioned at his introductory pre ser with the Las Vegas Raiders.) Kelce and the Chiefs play-callers are too Yoenis Cespedes Jersey talented to be denied, though defenses did show how difficult it could be when you take away a free release at the line, rolling coverages his way, or taking away the cro sers.Watching tape from Kelces 2021-22 season provides tons of optimism, particularly to that second question. Even in what the sports media world calls a down year Kelce was still a top-two tight end acro s the NFL he still boasts a claim to be the most dangerous man on the field, even without touching the football.Consider a few plays , , and .Let Kelce play a little hide-and-seek with his pre-snap motion and just watch as defenses helple sly show their hand as a coverage indicator. Even on a delayed release where he doesn't even touch the ball, the respect his name commands has defenders watching , and thus it opens up opportunities for everyone in his vicinity.The reasons experts are speculating on Byron Pringle's production in Chicago without the gravity of Kelce (and Hill) are among the same reasons why players like Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Mecole Jay Bruce Jersey Hardman should elevate in the upcoming season. Injured or not, Kelce commands a defenses best.Last seasons testy times were littered with examples of the Chiefs' coaching staff and talent proving they could pivot amongst uncertainties. Pringle to use him as an example again had the best game of his career with Kelce out and Hill not practicing. Even without their future Hall-of-Fame tight end, the makeshift Chiefs went out and put in 36 points against a once-vaunted Pittsburgh defense.All of that presents a roundabout way of something one simple thing: the Chiefs body of work should grant them the benefit of the doubt and a vote of confidence that they can be as potent offensively. For Kelce particularly, theres a case on both sides for what this year could offer.But in a year in which he has a chance to reach milestones that no tight end in the history of the game has done, nothing about his body of work suggests he wont do what hes always done with the opportunity: catch it and make a play.