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ArrowChop: With how other front-runners are performing, could Kelce still win OPOY?

With spectacular showings from the front-runners for the Offensive Player of the Year award, could Kelce still win the trophy when it’s all said and done?

Hello again everyone and welcome to another week of the ArrowChop! This is the column where we look at the positives/negatives of a certain Chiefs/NFL issue and look at both sides of the aisle. Then you, the readers, will come to your conclusions after I lay out the case. So sit back, relax, and enjoy as we breakdown this week’s hot topic.

Week 15 showed great stride for the front runners of this award that include but are not limited to Derrick Henry, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, and Travis Kelce. Some performed better than others, specifically a majority performed better than Kelce. Kelce had eight catches for 68 yards and a touchdown, which is a great showing, but not as we’ve been acquainted with as of late after five 100-yard performances in the past five games (excluding the recent Saints game). With stellar performances from other players fighting for that award, it sparked the question of could Kelce still win the award, even after his “lackluster” game? Let’s break down both sides of the aisle to find out which hold more truth:

Kelce could win the award

For this side, I’ll break down a list of the achievements he has to gain to still have an outstanding shot to win this award. Nevertheless, here’s that list:

  • He has to break the record for the most receiving yards by a tight end in NFL history. George Kittle set that record in 2018 with 1,377, and Kelce held the record for a little bit but was ultimately passed by him; Kelce had 1336 yards. As of right now, Kelce is 60 yards away from breaking the record (he needs 59 to tie it), which could be easily done against the Falcons’ bland pass defense.
  • He has to lead the league in receiving yards. This will be the first time since Dave Parks in 1965 where a tight end led the league in receiving yards. If he does this, he’ll have a chip above the rest when it comes time to vote, but he ABSOLUTELY DOES need this to have a better shot at winning this award. He’ll need 100+ yard receiving games in the next two weeks for this to possibly occur.
  • He needs 100+ receptions this season. He only needs two catches to break 100 this season, so this one shouldn’t be too hard. He’ll achieve this next week versus the Falcons.
  • He needs Pro Bowl and First-Team-All-Pro honors. These two are already set in stone because no tight end this season is having or is even close to having the one he has.
  • Not needed but could boost his chances: he has to stay in the top-five for receiving touchdowns. As of right now, he’s tied 5th in receiving touchdowns with DK Metcalf and A.J Brown; the players in front of him, in order, are his teammate Tyreek Hill (15), Devante Adams (14), Adam Thielen (13), and Mike Evans (11). He’ll have to have a touchdown in both of the Falcons and Chargers games to stay in the top five, but he could easily sneak in at 4th this season.

Kelce can’t win the award

One name that has perked interest with this award along with some MVP votes is none other than Derrick Henry. He easily holds the lead for rushing yards this season with 1,679, 195 yards in front of Dalvin Cook, he’s tied at first the league in rushing touchdowns with Dalvin Cook at 15, he’s averaging about 120 rushing yards per game, and he second in total scrimmage yards with 1,793 yards, right behind Cook who has 1,833 yards ahead of Week 16. Henry has nine games where he has totaled over 100 rushing yards, and two of them were for over 200 yards (Week 6 versus the Texans and Week 14 versus the Jaguars). Without him, the Titans could’ve lost more games than they already have; he’s definitely someone Kelce has to outperform in these next two weeks.

Another two names that perk interest are the two quarterbacks dueling for the MVP in Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. The whole MVP debate is for another article, but no matter who wins or who loses, they’ll be voted on in the OPOTY race due to them being offensive players, and they’re ahead in the most prestigious award race in the NFL. Rodgers has a strong case as for him leading the league in passing touchdowns and passer rating; moreover, he’s in the top ten for yards per attempt, completion percentage, and passing yards. Mahomes is leading the league in passing yards, but he’s also among the top ten in passing touchdowns, completion percentage, yards per attempt, passer rating, and QB rushing yards. If these two keep performing the way they are doing, they could knock Kelce out of the race with ease.

Dalvin Cook is another runner-up for this award, but since he’s the second-best running back in the league and it’ll be tough to surpass Henry, he’s already out of the equation. Davante Adams is another name that comes to mind as he’s a spectacular receiver as even though he missed two games this year due to injury, he still has 1,186 receiving yards (7th in the league), 14 touchdowns (2nd), and he’s about to surpass 100 receptions this year (he’s at 98 right now). If he didn’t miss those two games, he’d still be a threat, but sadly, the other three I mentioned earlier and Kelce surpasses him; and, unless he has monster performances in the next two games, then he may have a shot to pull ahead, but not win.

Do you think Kelce will still win offensive player of the year? Leave a comment down below with your thoughts. Thanks for reading, and have a fantastic day!

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