Chiefs vs. Saints game recap: Everything we know
This week's get-together of the top teams at both conferences delivered a fun game that kept fans in the loop for all four quarters. Kansas City got off to a quick start in the first half, leading by 14 points early in the second quarter, but New Orleans returned at halftime making it a four-point contest. A touchdown to open the second half gave the Saints some momentum, but Kansas City captured and sealed the win with a solid performance in the fourth quarter.
The Chiefs' attacking stars and an incredible performance by rookie L’Jarius Sneed on the defensive drove them to their twelfth win of the season. It keeps the team in the driver's seat for first place in the AFC conference. With the Falcons and Chargers on the horizon in the coming weeks, Kansas City will try to keep that momentum going in the January playoffs.
Final result: Chiefs 32 Saints 29
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A highly competitive and physical game by both teams resulted in one of the best games the Chiefs have played this season, even if the result was close. New Orleans proved they could keep up with the Chiefs' high-octane offensive, but narrowly cut Kansas City's second loss of the season. Despite the number of points allowed, the defense was a ray of hope for the Chiefs in victory and played admirably against a resurgent Saint offense with Drew Brees in his first second leg. The secondary school was particularly good in this match as the young corners L'Jarius Sneed and Charvarius Ward set the tone throughout the game.
Key to the game
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Mill it out
Kansas City managed to win possession battle time this week, running the ball over 40 times. Patrick Mahomes' passing attack was a throwback to the traditional West Coast offensive style, where the ball was essentially executed by throwing the entire game. While this wasn't his most efficient accomplishment in terms of completes and attempts, the mileage and scores were there to keep the team on top for but a few minutes.
A couple of insane games before halftime helped put points on the board for New Orleans, but the Chiefs defense played bend don't break defense all day to keep Drew Brees off the field. With four touchdowns allowed, the large early intercept proved crucial to give the team momentum, and despite the nearly 30 points allowed, the defense seemed to have found a rhythm after some tough weeks against smaller teams.
Be in control
This was by far the toughest matchup of the Chiefs late season. So getting away with a win is critical to their playoff push. A loss this week might have linked her to the Steelers to chair the conference, but Kansas City still controls its own fate at 13-1, just two more weeks away. If they win, a first-round farewell in the playoffs could give them a huge edge in getting the boys healthy and moving forward to the Super Bowl in February.
It was over when ...
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A clutch-touch pass from Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce helped Kansas City milk the watch in the fourth quarter to secure their thirteenth win of the season. The Chiefs' three-point lead on the two-minute warning left Kansas City a second and managed to start a misdirection game to put the ball in the hands of their starry end. New Orleans had only one time off, and on their next series of downs, Le'Veon Bell converted an initial down to stick the dagger in the Saints.
3 stars of the game
AP Photo / Brett Duke
Sneed is by far the most productive rookie in defense of the Chiefs and has played at a very high level this season. He released another signature performance against New Orleans. An early interception gave Kansas City a key edge in building an early lead, and a clutch sack in the second quarter rounded out what might be their best game yet. Sneed is only a fourth-round election in last April's draft and appears to be a mainstay of the Chiefs' secondary school for a long time to come.
In a historic season for the close end of Kansas City, Travis Kelce had another monster game against the Saints with 8 receptions, 68 yards, and a major touchdown in the win. Nevertheless, Kelce, who only has two weeks left, has cemented his position as the best in the league as a potential leader of the reception courtyard.
With games like these becoming anticipated, the Chiefs quarterback kept the team on pace throughout the game, wearing down the Saints' defenses with killer instinct and cunning. His 47 attempts were on pace for a season high as the third quarter ended, and with points for a premium, he delivered with 3 touchdowns and without a break. Kansas City are 13-1 for the first time in franchise history and now the team seems poised to make their record even more impressive in the coming weeks.
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With the twilight regular season, Kansas City will play the Atlanta Falcons in week 15, possibly for the AFC's first seed in the playoffs. Losing Pittsburgh would be the main contributor to the clinch, but the Chiefs should be strong favorites to start their matchup at Arrowhead. Favorable opponents in the final weeks of this season could provide an opportunity to rest some starters and get well well into January.
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