This week’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints jumped out when the schedules came out. Both teams were that close from facing off against each other a couple of years ago in Super Bowl LIII. Both defenses have been playing largely well throughout most of the season. Nonetheless, they do not receive much of the focus.
I also waited to give my full thoughts on the Saints until Friday, just in case of some big news dropping. And early this morning, we got our answer. Veteran quarterback Drew Brees will indeed return this week to face Kansas City. The New Orleans Saints were without him for the last four games due to injuries to his ribs/lung. The question now is, are they rushing him back because of last week’s upset loss to Philly, or is Brees close to full health? Either way, we will now get to see Patrick Mahomes vs Drew Brees on Sunday. For our thoughts on that and much more, here is our view of the New Orleans Saints from behind enemy lines.
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Brees Is Back
Obviously, Brees presents a much stronger challenge than that of Taysom Hill at QB. His quick passing and astute field vision are still parts of his game that stands out. That will also help to mask a struggling, banged up New Orleans offensive line. Though, the Chiefs have done well in man coverage through the duration of much of the season. That makes this a compelling matchup in Brees’ return. His ability to beat teams over the top has waned more over the last couple of years. If he cannot win with throws into tight windows, Kansas City could become more comfortable.
Where this return could really hurt the Chiefs, is the quarterback’s return also boosts the abilities of the Saints playmakers. Alvin Kamara is likely to get increased touches and looks, especially through the air. Star wide receiver Michael Thomas is dealing with an ankle injury. His status is in question. But if healthy, Thomas and others like Tre’Quan Smith and Jared Cook could see more consistent and advantageous looks. Thus, the Chiefs must be able to tackle well and limit splash plays from the New Orleans Saints.
Bounce Back Week?
Entering this week, New Orleans is second in total yards allowed. We also saw them struggle mightily the last time the Saints took the field. Rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts looked fearless and played critical situations very smart. The Saints defenders had no answer for his running ability, and quite frankly most of the rushing attack from Philadelphia. Miles Sanders was able to erupt for his best game in a while. Meanwhile, this secondary gave up long passes all day long, despite some stronger coverage on certain throws.
This makes things rather interesting for this week’s game. Someone will have to bounce back or limp past the finish line. That goes for both the New Orleans Saints defense and Kansas City Chiefs offense. While they still scored 33 points last week, we saw uncharacteristic turnovers and negative plays from Mahomes. We have seen how well he bounces back before. One would think he will come out playing with a somewhat angry or more aggressive style this week. On the other hand, the Saints have to limit big plays. Will they return to winning on crucial downs? Or, will the frustrating lack of playmaking on the back end continue? More than anything, the Chiefs have to be able to slow down the pass rushing duo of Cameron Jordan and Trey Hendrickson. Something has to give in this matchup on Sunday.
If there is anyone that can nearly match the offensive mind of Andy Reid, it is Sean Payton. Like Brees returning to face Mahomes, getting to see Reid and Payton duel it out will be a tremendous treat for NFL fans on Sunday. Payton has always had a knack of making something out of nothing so to speak, when his back is against the wall. That is what the situation somewhat calls for against the Chiefs.
The New Orleans Saints letdown last week, has allowed the Green Bay Packers to grab a hold of the number one seed in the NFC. Due to their head to head loss at home against the Packers from early in the season, the Saints need this win badly and help from those taking on Green Bay. It is very possible that we may see plenty of tricks and deceptive concepts from Payton this week. Will his decisions be beneficial or all for naught against Kansas City? We’ll find out which offensive mind is on the ball more in an exciting matchup.
Be on the lookout for our FPC Chiefs game preview article and podcast for Kansas City vs the New Orleans Saints. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.