Saints Offense vs Chiefs Defense
By this point, we’ve established that in order to win this game, the Saints are going to need to consistently score points. That makes Brees’ return critical; if Taysom Hill has to start this game, I can’t see how to stay competitive.
Brees got off to a slow start, but in his past three games, he averaged over 9 net yards/attempt in two of them. Considering that he had to deal with not having receivers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders for multiple games, it also would be wise to grade him on a slight curve.
With the league’s lowest average depth of target, a Brees-led offense is never going to produce much in the way of explosive plays. However, that doesn’t mean that New Orleans cannot score points in this game.
In Kansas City, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo runs a scheme that is predicated on limiting big plays, which makes sense given how strong their offense is. However, that could actually work against them facing the Saints.
If there is a weakness with their defense, it is surely their linebackers. They have allowed the third-most receiving yards to running backs this week, as well as the fourth-most receiving yards to tight ends.
Brees’ two most targeted players, who may ask? Running back Alvin Kamara and tight end Jared Cook. I’d expect both of them to play a major role in this game, as few head coaches focus on exploiting an opposing defense’s weaknesses quite like Sean Payton.
However, this doesn’t mean that the passing game shouldn’t still be focused primarily on the receiver duo of Thomas and Sanders. The Chiefs have allowed the fewest receiving yards to wide receivers, but if there is something we know by now, it’s that offensive strengths beat defensive strengths.
Thomas’ propensity for finding holes in zone coverages could play a major role here, and regardless, you have to trust your key players to make plays. Mainly, a diverse passing attack seems to be in order here.
The Chiefs have the fourth-worst rush defense based on yards allowed per attempt, but that doesn’t mean the Saints should run the ball often.
They are going to need to score as many points as possible, so relying on a less-efficient style of offense would not be ideal. There is a reason the Chiefs still rank 5th in points/play allowed despite failing to stop the run.