10 dark-horse Super Bowl MVP candidates who aren’t Patrick Mahomes, Brock Purdy

San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages
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1. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs

He is now the NFL’s all-time leader in terms of postseason receptions (156). The team’s current playoff run, which includes victories over the Miami Dolphins and at Buffalo and at Baltimore has featured some of his best work in the playoffs – most notably in the wins over the Bills (27-24) and Ravens (17-10).

Tight end Travis Kelce has totaled 23 catches for 262 yards and three scores in three postseason outings. He has all but one of quarterback Patrick Mahomes' four touchdown passes in these playoffs. The last two games have been exceptional. At Orchard Park, he was targeted six times and caught five passes for 75 yards and a pair of TDs. In the AFC title game, Mahomes took aim at Kelce 11 times and he pulled down every throw, good for 116 yards and the game’s first touchdown.

All of this in a year in which he failed to reach 1,000 yards receiving for the first time since 2015. Kelce opted to sit out the Week 18 game at SoFi Stadium against the Chargers to rest of the playoffs. Sound decision indeed. So, will he or the Niners’ George Kittle become the first tight end to earn Super Bowl MVP honors? It’s been a Kelce kind of playoffs.

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