Previewing the New Orleans Saints Week 15 matchup vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs Offense vs Saints Defense
Can anybody stop the Chiefs? This feels like a question that we have been asking for the last three years!
Kansas City has ranked in the top-two in yards/play in each of the past three seasons, and that’s with Patrick Mahomes missing time last season due to injury. To put their dominance into perspective, the gap between them and the second-ranked offense (Green Bay) is the same as the gap between the second and sixth-best offense!
It all starts with Mahomes, who may be heading towards his second MVP award in the past three years. According to Player Profiler, he ranks second in expected points added, while his 7.93 net yards/attempt and 323.7 yards/game lead the NFL.
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He has solidified himself as the best quarterback and the most-coveted player in the NFL, but that hasn’t stopped the Chiefs from supporting him with loads of talent. His supporting cast efficiency ranks in the top five, as does his receiver target separation.
With how much the Saints struggle against explosive passes, I’m not sure they aren’t particularly excited to have to face Tyreek Hill, who currently leads the league in yards/touch (14.4). Whether it’s as a deep threat, after the catch, moving the chains, or as a rusher, he’s an all-around weapon, and after New Orleans looked confused facing Jalen Reagor last week, this could get ugly.
The same can be said about their efforts to defend tight end Travis Kelce. Yes, the Saints have fared better against tight ends sine acquiring linebacker Kwon Alexander, but Kelce is a completely different bread. The 31-year-old currently leads the NFL in receiving yards, which is just unheard of for a tight end; he has 100+ receiving yards in five of his last six games!
That’s not all Kansas City brings to the table. Receivers Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardmans are big-play threats, and even running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell could provide some troubles in the passing game as well.
However, the biggest advantage the Chiefs give themselves is their offensive scheme, led by none other than head coach Andy Reid. Currently, no team passes more than expected on early downs than them, according to data analyst Ben Baldwin:
When you have the best quarterback, the best tight end, and arguably the toughest receiver in the NFL to defend, there isn’t any reason to not to continue passing. Although the Saints have been fine in pass defense this season, their strength is clearly their defensive line.
Thus, the Chiefs will be even more motivated to pass the ball early and often, which is bad news for New Orleans.
Heck, Kansas City even has the sixth-lowest sacked percentage; there is no imaginable way that the Saints slow down the Chiefs here, though that is the case for practically every defense in the NFL right now.