Skip to main content

Kansas City Chiefs Official Team Website |

Travis Kelce: Everyone Wanted It For Berry

Kelce had a career-high 140 yards in the Chiefs’ 29-28 victory


Sunday belonged to Eric Berry.

There isn't a member of the Chiefs locker room, perhaps besides him, who would dispute that.

Georgia is where Berry grew up, where he last played college football and where he had never before Sunday played in the regular season as a professional.

Together, Berry's teammates knew that there would be nothing more he would want for his homecoming than for them to play their best games.

And tight end Travis Kelce did just that.

"I think everyone on the team wanted it for him more," he said. "I remember my first year here [in 2013] when Andy Reid went back to Philadelphia for the first time and everyone on the team wanted that [win] for Andy, for the situation that he had there.

"It's one of those things that the chemistry that we have on this team is really a family atmosphere. And when you want something for the guy next to you it is really something special."

Kelce had eight catches for a career-high 140 yards in the game, including five separate receptions that went for 15 yards or more.

"I mean you saw it out there, the guy's so unique—one of the most unique tight ends in the NFL I think of what he can do," Smith said. "We isolated him a lot and he just continued to make plays for us, he's so good after the catch."

After the Falcons scored a touchdown on their opening drive, Smith hit Kelce—first for 21 yards and then for 35 yards deep down the left sideline—to get the Chiefs to the Atlanta 3.

"For a big guy to have the kind of vision that he does—you saw it," Smith said. "The first catch, to go up and get that in traffic and then he beats the safety one-on-one to get us down there at the goal line.

What followed was a 3-yard touchdown by Spencer Ware, and the Chiefs drew within one point early.

Sans two late miscues in the fourth quarter, Smith too had one of the best games since becoming a member of the Chiefs during the 2013 offseason.

He finished 21 of 25 for 270 yards passing and a touchdown, and a 125.0 passer rating. It was the fourth time this season Smith had a passer rating over 100.

"I think one thing today was staying ahead of the chains," Smith said. "We made some big plays on first and second down and were able to convert on some key third downs."

One of the biggest sequences of the game occurred as Smith and the Chiefs tried to run the clock out after Berry ran the ball back 99 yards to give them a one-point lead.

Rather than run the ball, the Chiefs coaching staff trusted Smith, who found Kelce in a big spot.

"I thought coach did a great job of staying aggressive," Smith said. "There's such a fine line there, you want to keep the clock running and obviously—that's heavy run. I thought the coaches did a great job mixing it up."

With the Chiefs backed up to their own 8-yard line and facing second-and-10, Smith hit Kelce short to his left, and with 7 yards to go for the first down, Kelce stretched it into a 14-yard gain.

"I think it's that chess game there trying to stay aggressive, while at the same time, obviously, you want to keep the clock running," Smith said.

The Chiefs had already set that aggressive tone earlier in the game at the beginning of the third quarter.

Facing fourth-and-1, Reid and special teams coordinator Dave Toub called a fake punt—a direct snap to Albert Wilson.

Wilson darted through the Falcons punt return team nearly untouched for a 55-yard touchdown. 

"It's something that we just put in," Wilson said. "We had it up all week, and when I saw the call I had hesitation that I was going to go with it. My guys up front did a great job like they have been doing with it all week [in practice] and we came out with a touchdown."

The Chiefs went up 27-16 at the time, points that would be very important later, as the Falcons would rally back to briefly take the one-point lead.

Had the Chiefs not had these types of plays throughout in the game, there's a chance the two-point try and the emotional game-winning interception doesn't happen.

But fortunately for the Chiefs and Berry, they did.

"Eric is the heart and soul of this team, the embodiment of what we're about," Smith said. "That's selflessness, hard work, giving it up for the guy next to you. That's all Eric talks about and its real, it's sincere, there is no phoniness about it, and it's from the heart.

"I think that really does echo throughout the locker room because of who he is and the way he plays."

On Sunday, it certainly did. And as a team, the Chiefs afforded him the opportunity to make magic.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content