PHOENIX – There Is nothing but respect for Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce, the All-Pro playmaker who is high on the list of players to focus on for Sunday's Super Bowl. His numbers from the 2022 regular season jump off the page: 110 receptions, 1,338 yards, and 12 touchdowns. He's headed for the Pro Football Hall of Fame some day.
The Eagles hope they can slow him down in Super Bowl LVII.
"His route running and what he does, his hesitation in and out of cuts, I think he kind of catches people off guard, tries to lull them to sleep at first, and then he bursts out really fast," linebacker T.J. Edwards said. "He's been a Pro Bowl tight end for a long time in this league and he definitely looks as advertised on film. I'm really excited for the matchup and I'm really excited to go against him. He's a special player."
The Eagles have done a very good job against tight ends since Jonathan Gannon became the defensive coordinator, but this is a different kind of challenge. The defense saw Kelce last season – a 42-30 Chiefs win at Lincoln Financial Field in Week 4 – and he caught 4 passes for 23 yards. He is the focal point in the passing game for quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
"It all goes into our preparations during the week," Edwards said. "I like to think that we take film study really seriously and we know that preparation is everything. We put a lot of emphasis on that matchup and we're going against a really good one this week."
For the record, the tight end with the biggest game against the Eagles this season? Week 18, New York Giant Lawrence Cager had 8 receptions for 69 yards – that's the most receptions and yards a tight end has had against Philadelphia this season.
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