All Travis Kelce did last week against Buffalo was grab eight passes for 96 yards, plot the play that set up Harrison Butker’s game-tying field goal in regulation, and catch the winning touchdown in overtime. For his next trick, Kelce will try to extend his own record: He has amassed at least 95 yards in five straight playoff games, the longest such streak in league history.
With four receptions Sunday, Kelce would join the exalted company of Jerry Rice (151) and Julian Edelman (118) as the only players with 100 playoff catches. Only twice this season has Kelce caught fewer than four balls. In the Week 17 game against the Bengals, Kelce had five catches, for only 25 yards, and was covered well by the same player who probably will be assigned to stifle him Sunday: Tre Flowers.
The 6-foot-3 Flowers, claimed off waivers in mid-October, has emerged as a pivotal piece of Cincinnati’s special teams while matching up, at times, inside against tight ends like Darren Waller of Las Vegas in the wild-card round, Mark Andrews of Baltimore and Kelce in Week 17. He limited Kelce to two catches for 7 yards, according to Pro Football Focus, and whether Flowers can replicate that success – or even come close – may determine who wins Sunday.
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