Good: Offensive Line
With Taysom Hill under center, the offensive line had struggled, which makes sense; Hill holds onto the ball for a very long time.
Whether it was Brees’ return or just a better overall performance, the front five did an excellent job protecting their injured quarterback. Overall, Kansas City sacked Brees just one time and didn’t pressure him much.
The interior offensive line has been a concern all season, yet they had no issue slowing down Chris Jones. Meanwhile, the Chiefs’ defensive line hit Brees just five times. By comparison, the Saints hit Mahomes eleven times.
It wasn’t just in the passing game, however; running back Alvin Kamara averaged 4.9 yards/rush.
Yes, they’ve had success running the ball, but a lot of that was related to their diverse rushing attack with Hill at quarterback. Thus, it is encouraging that they had a 55% success run running the ball on early downs in the first half, per Sharp Football Stats.
Looking forward, the NFC is filled with talented pass rushes- the Rams, Packers, Washington, Bucs, and Cardinals all rank in the top-ten in sacks per game. Thus, the fact that the Saints held up this well, despite interior offensive lineman Nick Easton leaving with an injury (because of course) is very encouraging.