If it’s Week fifteen in the NFL and the matchup pits two legitimate Super Bowl contenders from each and every convention, then it’s a no-brainer as The Post’s Large Sport.
The showdown between the Chiefs (twelve-1) and the Saints (ten-three) on Sunday in New Orleans received an early Xmas current when it was exposed late in the 7 days that Saints quarterback Drew Brees will return following lacking four game titles with injuries to his ribs and lung.
That implies this sport will mark the initial assembly between Mahomes and Brees, which is a reward that goes alongside with equally groups vying for the No. 1 seed in their respective conferences.
Brees, 41, returned to practice throughout the 7 days following lacking time mainly because of eleven broken ribs and a punctured lung. The Saints won three of the previous four game titles they played with Taysom Hill setting up in area of Brees.
The Chiefs are presently the top rated seed in the AFC, with a a single-sport guide around the Steelers. The Saints are tied for the very best document in the NFC, but they are presently the No. 2 seed based on an early-time reduction to the Packers.
The Chiefs just clinched their fifth consecutive AFC West title. The Saints, with a earn around Kansas City, would clinch their fourth consecutive NFC South title.
If this is not a potential Super Bowl preview, then there is no this sort of matter.
Saints coach Sean Payton is on document expressing he regarded as drafting Mahomes in 2017, but the Saints had the eleventh-overall decide and the Chiefs traded up to No. ten to decide Mahomes. So, with that eleventh decide, the Saints took cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who grew to become NFL Defensive Rookie of the 12 months and continues to be the team’s top rated cornerback. Sunday will be the initial time Lattimore will enjoy in opposition to Mahomes.
“Everything worked out for the very best,” Lattimore told reporters this 7 days. “He’s around there accomplishing his matter. I’m around here accomplishing my matter. So, everyone won. And yeah, I’m fired up to enjoy him mainly because he’s a single of the excellent up-and-coming quarterbacks. So you know our sport is likely to be way up, and you know we’re likely to be all set for him.
“It’s likely to be a excellent battle. I sense like we’re stacked, just like they are stacked. So, we’re likely to go out there and enjoy, and the very best person wins.”
The Saints are coming off a 24-21 upset reduction to the battling Eagles. That reduction ended New Orleans’ 9-sport profitable streak, leaving the Chiefs’ eight-sport profitable streak as the longest in the NFL.
Mahomes, who’s coming off an uncharacteristicly uneven sport (for him) with a time-substantial three interceptions in opposition to the Dolphins very last Sunday, is the NFL’s leading passer. He has 6 consecutive three hundred-lawn passing game titles and 9 overall this time.
His limited conclusion, Travis Kelce, is 127 getting yards short of the NFL solitary-time document for a his place. Kelce prospects the league with 1,250 yards and could grow to be the initial limited conclusion to at any time guide the league in getting yards.
Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill prospects the NFL with 16 landing receptions and, as a complement to the most prolific passing sport in the league, Kansas City has functioning backs LeVeon Bell and rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
The Saints’ protection is rated No. 2 in the league and has manufactured 36 sacks. But the device is coming off a inadequate efficiency in opposition to the Eagles.
The Saints had not allowed any player to hurry for a hundred yards in an NFL-document 55 consecutive game titles until eventually two Eagles players accomplished that in the exact same sport — functioning back again Miles Sanders (115) and quarterback Jalen Hurts (106).
“Obviously, when you give up 240 yards dashing, there are not a ton of matters you did properly,” Payton mentioned.
With Brees back again in the setting up lineup, Jameis Winston will go on to be the Saints’ No. 2 quarterback, with Hill likely back again to his hybrid part, which consists of some performs at quarterback.
A person substantial matter to view in this sport is the Chiefs’ offensive line issues. A few of their tackles — right tackle Mike Remmers, remaining tackle Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz — have been unable to practice mainly because of back again illnesses.
That would go away Yasir Durant, an undrafted rookie, enjoying at right tackle and lining up in opposition to Saints move rusher Cameron Jordan, who has six.5 sacks. New Orleans defensive conclusion Trey Hendrickson has ten.5 sacks.