Travis Kelce could be the secret piece that will connect The Chiefs offense to Patrick Mahomes after taking over from Alex Smith. Alex Smith is the incumbent starter in Kansas City who has been their quarterback through a complete rebuilding of the franchise. The Chiefs were happy to bring in Smith because the 49ers were not interested in keeping him. Andy Reid was brought to Kansas City as a bit of a coaching savior, and those two have worked together well for years. Travis Kelce will catch the ball faithfully for whoever is under center, and he could help Mahomes become the face of the future in Kansas City.

Tight ends help in short yardage

Short yardage passes for a player such as Patrick Mahomes will help him remain in the NFL and successful as he becomes a better passer down the field. He cannot be asked to throw the ball all over the field for hours at a time, but he can be asked to throw the ball to Kelce for a couple of yards so that he will not be open to interceptions and mistakes that happen when a young quarterback is throwing downfield. He can cut down on errors, and Andy Reid could easily create an offense that relies on Kelce moreso than anyone else.

The defense is pretty good

Mahomes will be serviced by a lovely defense in Kansas City that has been built up over the course of a few years.

The Chiefs have done a good job of supporting a moderate offense with a great defense. It is hard to choose the Chiefs to go deep in the playoffs or even make the playoffs when they have only that defense to lean on, but they could become very successful if they have years to develop Patrick Mahomes. He could look across at the defense in practice knowing that they can provide him with the protection that he needs.

Getting on the field more often will help Mahomes become a better quarterback, and a rested defense can stop the other team from coming back.

When should they change?

Yanking Alex Smith right this second makes no sense for the Chiefs, but they could make the change at any time while pointing to Kelce as the person who will help Mahomes remain stable.

Having a good place to dump the ball makes decisions easier, and Mahomes will learn the read the field because he knows that a tight end is just a few yards away waiting for the ball. Anyone would be more comfortable with a good tight end, and tight ends have often saved quarterbacks from peril. Tony Gonzalez did the same in Atlanta, and it allowed Matt Ryan to mature quite a lot. Travis Kelce is one to watch this year.