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Chiefs-Saints preview: Comparing the stats, quarterbacks and strengths vs. weaknesses

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NFL: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Like last week the Chiefs will be facing an impressive offensive team that has a poor defense. The Chiefs are capable of coming away with the W like they did in Oakland.

Let’s take a look at some stats and get to know the Saints a little better before the game on Sunday.

Chiefs and Saints Offensive Numbers

We’ll start by looking at the Chiefs and Saints offensive stats. The stats are per game averages and the numbers in the parentheses are their NFL ranks.

The Chiefs passing offense is nowhere near as good at the Saints passing offense. The Chiefs rushing offense is much better than the Saints rushing offense.

The Saints are a great offensive passing team - that is what happens when you have Drew Brees. The Saints passing game is superior to the Raiders, so the Chiefs defense will have a greater challenge against the pass in Week 7 than they did last week.

Interesting to note is the Chiefs were 21st in rushing yards per game before the Raiders game. After the Raiders game they jumped up to 14th in the league. The Chiefs rushing game should continue this upward climb as the season progresses as Jamaal Charles continues to take on more and more.

Quarterback Comparison

Drew Brees: 346.6 yards, 66.7 percent, 2.8 TDs, 0.8 INTs, Rating 103.1

Alex Smith: 259.4 yards, 67.4 percent, 1 TDs, 0.4 INTs, Rating 91.1

Obviously and as expected Drew Brees has outperformed Alex Smith on the season thus far. Alex Smith has put together a solid statistical year so far. More touchdowns are needed, especially this weekend.

Over the course of his career Drew Brees has played better in domes. I went and checked Brees’ splits and his career quarterback rating while playing in a dome is 102.7. His career quarterback rating while playing outdoors is 90.1.

For reference, Alex Smith’s rating has been 89.1, 93.4, and 95.4 in 2013, 2014, and 2015 respectively.

Chiefs and Saints Defensive Numbers

Let’s take a peek at the two teams defensive stats.

The Chiefs defense outperforms the Saints defense in every single category except for rushing yards allowed per attempt.

The Saints defense is allowing 33.6 points per game. That is really, really bad. In fact the Saints are on pace to allow more points per game than their league worst total last season (29.8).

Who Have the Saints Played?

Sometimes team stats can be a function of who the team in question has played - especially at the start of the season. I think it’s useful to see exactly who the Saints have played so far in 2016.

The Saints have played some really good offenses. The Raiders are ranked 11th in PPG, the Giants 25th, the Falcons first, the Chargers third, and the Panthers sixth. On average, the Saints have faced the ninth ranked offense in the NFL.

The Chiefs on the other hand have faced the 17th ranked offense in the NFL on average.

As bad as the Saints defense has been I do believe their numbers have been negatively affected by facing some very good offensive teams.

The Saints have played the following ranked defenses: 24th (Raiders), 14th (Giants), 26th (Falcons), 23rd (Chargers), and 29th (Panthers.) On average the Saints have faced the 23rd ranked defense in the NFL.

For comparison the Chiefs have faced the 19th ranked defense in the NFL on average.

The Saints have played some bad defenses so far in 2016. The only team they faced with a defense in the top half of the league were the Giants. The Saints were only able to score 13 points against the Giants.

The Chiefs defense is 10th in the NFL in points allowed per game. Since the Saints struggled to score against their only opponent who had a top half of the league defense, it may be reasonable to think the Saints could struggle offensively against the Chiefs.

Strengths vs. weaknesses

Saints Offensive Line vs Chiefs Pass Rush

The Saints offensive line has allowed 1.6 sacks per game which is good for fifth in the NFL. The Chiefs will have to disrupt Brees if they want to stymie the Saints offense.

Last week the Chiefs pass rush was supposed to struggle against the Raiders offensive line and it did not - so here’s hoping the Chiefs aren’t doomed in the sack department.

Chiefs Rushing Attack vs Saints Defense

The Chiefs rushing attack came alive against the Raiders. Meanwhile, the Saints defense has not been good at stopping the run. If I am Andy Reid I continue to take advantage of this mismatch against the Saints.

Chiefs Ballhawks vs Drew Brees

The Chiefs lead the NFL in interceptions (thanks Ryan Fitzpatrick!). Drew Brees is in the bottom half of the NFL in terms of interceptions thrown per game.

Brees will throw a lot of passes against the Chiefs on Sunday and the more passes he throws the more likely he is to throw an interception. I would be surprised if Brees left Arrowhead without at least one more interception on his stat line.

Strength vs Strength

The Chiefs passing defense is the strength of their team right now (at least according to the stats.) On the other side of the ball the Saints passing attack is arguably the best passing attack in the NFL.

This is a classic matchup of strength vs strength and it will be interesting to see which side will show up victorious on Sunday.