The Denver Broncos achieved a historic milestone on October 29 by breaking their 16-game losing streak to the Kansas City Chiefs, dating back to the 2015 season. The Broncos’ 24-9 victory in Week 8 marked the end of an era and presented an opportunity for some light-hearted trolling.
After the game, Denver decided to play Taylor Swift’s chart-topping hit, “Shake It Off,” in a playful jab at the Chiefs. This choice was particularly noteworthy because Taylor Swift is in a relationship with the Chiefs’ tight end, Travis Kelce.
The Kelce-Swift connection has not only been a dominant storyline in the world of sports this season but has also made waves in pop culture.
According to Forbes, Travis Kelce experienced a substantial boost in his popularity and success thanks to his association with Taylor Swift. He gained over 383,000 new followers on his Instagram account, witnessed a staggering 400% surge in jersey sales, and claimed the top spot on Apple’s podcast charts with his brother.
Additionally, Swift’s presence at Kelce’s games was a ratings magnet, with a reported 63% increase in viewership among females aged 18-49.
Interestingly, prior to the game against the Broncos, the Chiefs had never lost when Swift was in attendance, and Kelce’s performance soared, averaging 108 yards per game. However, without Swift in the stands, Kelce’s numbers dropped significantly to an average of just 46.5 yards per game.
Kelce’s dominance against Denver has been a defining aspect of his career, with the exception of the last game. Despite only playing in one game during his rookie year, Kelce’s increasing playing time in 2014 propelled him to become one of the most dominant tight ends in NFL history.
In his 11-year career, Kelce has consistently tormented the Broncos, exploiting their difficulty in covering him with linebackers and safeties. With a 15-4 overall record against Denver, he averages 77.5 receiving yards per game and has scored six touchdowns.
Notably, these receiving yards and touchdowns are the third-highest against any team Kelce has faced at least five times in his career. He boasts six 100-yard games against the Broncos and has crossed the 70-yard mark on ten different occasions. Surprisingly, in his last four meetings with Denver, Kelce failed to score a touchdown.
In Week 8, the Broncos managed to contain Kelce, limiting him to just 6 catches for 58 yards. Some pundits speculated that this dip in performance might have been due to the absence of his girlfriend, Taylor Swift.
The 2022 season witnessed a significant turnaround for the Denver Broncos’ defense. After initially struggling, they finished the season with the 14th-ranked scoring defense in the NFL.
A key change involved the return of their former head coach, Vance Joseph, as their defensive coordinator. In the first three games of the season, Joseph’s defense allowed an average of 40.6 points per game, including a shocking 70-point game against the Miami Dolphins.
However, things took a positive turn following the Miami loss. Over the subsequent five games, the Broncos’ defense improved drastically, conceding only 19 points per game.
The team also found a way to create turnovers, going from just one forced turnover in the initial three games to a total of 11, ranking them fifth in the NFL. Notably, half of these turnovers were generated in their matchups against the Chiefs, where they held Kansas City to a mere 14 points per game.
As the season progresses, the Broncos face a crucial decision at the trade deadline regarding their defensive starters. Should they retain their key defensive assets, Vance Joseph and his defense will need to continue their stellar performance, ensuring that opposing offenses struggle to reach the end zone, thus supporting an offense averaging just 21 points per game.