Just another Sunday for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Kansas City headed down to the bayou to face the 10-3 New Orleans Saints, in what could have been seen as a potential Super Bowl preview. But the only thing on the Chiefs’ attention remains that #1 seed in the AFC, the only seed which has a bye-week attached to it.
And while Drew Brees, injured ribs and all, gave ‘em hell, the high-powered Chiefs offense overwhelmed the Saints defense, as they have opposing defenses all season long. Patrick Mahomes threw for 254 yards and 3 touchdowns, Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 79 yards before being injured in the game (he did not return), and Travis Kelce had eight catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.
In his first game back after suffering 11 fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, the 41-year old Brees threw for 234 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
It was a close game throughout the majority of the first half, with the Chiefs leading 7-0 after one quarter. A muffed kick-off by Demarcus Robinson in the endzone during the second quarter almost led to a Saints touchdown, but the ball was knocked out of the endzone before they could fully recover the ball, and instead settled for a safety.
According to CBS Sports, it was the first time since September 2018 and only the 10th time in the past century the Chiefs have given up a safety. It cut the Chiefs 14-7 lead to 14-9 heading into the second half.
The defense of the Chiefs stepped up big in the second half, halting a comeback bid by the Saints (10-4), who not only have yet to clinch the NFC South, but are all but out of contending for the NFC’s #1 seed, which looks to be firmly in the grasp of the Packers.
But it was once again the magic of Mahomes, who continues to show why the Chiefs are the team to be in the NFL, that propelled the defending champions to victory.
“The biggest challenge is when he extends plays,” Saints coach Sean Payton said of Mahomes after the game. “A 2.5- or 3-second route turns into a 5- or 6-second route. That’s challenging.”
However, despite the victory, the Chiefs suffered a big loss.
Rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered what was later to be revealed to be a high ankle sprain during the game, and did not return. Per sources, he is expected to miss the rest of the regular season, but should be in prime position to return for the playoffs, especially if the Chiefs clinch the first-round bye.
The Chiefs host the Atlanta Falcons next week at Arrowhead. The Falcons are coming off yet another heartbreaking loss at the hands of Tom Brady.
As for New Orleans, they look to re-group for next week’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas Day.
(Photo Credit: Steve Sanders)