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By the Numbers: Chiefs Tight Ends Continue to Make Difference

Posted Aug 25, 2014

Through three preseason games, the story on offense for the Kansas City Chiefs have been the tight ends

Last season, the Kansas City Chiefs offense totaled just 541 yards receiving from the tight end position during the regular season.

That’s 16 games and just 541 yards altogether.

This season, through three preseason games against the Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings, the Chiefs offense has seen a total of 285 yards receiving from three different tight ends.

Second-year player Travis Kelce has 185 yards receiving on 10 receptions with two touchdowns, veteran Anthony Fasano has seven receptions for 70 yards and Demetrius Harris has one for 30 yards.

The running backs and wide receivers have just 365 yards receiving combined during that same time, which means 44-percent of the receiving yards this preseason have come from the tight ends.

Last season, the 541 yards receiving from the tight ends accounted for just 15-percent of the total receiving yards of the offense.

While Jamaal Charles, the team’s leading receiver last season with 693 yards and seven touchdowns, hasn’t played the last two preseason games against the Panthers and Vikings, there’s no doubt that a new dimension to this offense has arrived.

Obviously Charles will still be a major factor in the passing game heading into the season, but it looks like a healthy Fasano and Kelce, along with an emerging-Harris should be able to add some production as well.

But in order for the passing game to function at a high level, there’s still the matter of the shuffling of the offensive line. That is an area that needs to be cleaned-up as the group has surrendered 14 sacks through three games.

Quarterback Alex Smith said back in training camp this tight end group was special because of all the different things they bring to the field.

“I think those guys are so versatile that they’re a matchup problem,” Smith said. “They can matchup on smaller guys and block and we can run the ball and they can make a lot of plays in the passing game as well.”

Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said Fasano has helped bring along this young group.

“Anthony (Fasano) is the smart guy,” Pederson said. “He’s the ring-leader in their room and he really encourages the young guys and helps them study and helps them prepare.”

Fasano will continue to be leaned on for his leadership with this young, talented group.

They’ve shown during these three preseason games what they’re capable of bringing to the offense, and they’ll continue to be given that opportunity as the regular season approaches.

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