Last week, Arrowhead Pride’s contributors turned in some of their best predictions of the season. As a group, they foresaw a 32.9-20.4 Kansas City Chiefs victory over the Miami Dolphins. Our readers largely agreed. 92% thought the Chiefs would win, and 62% thought it would be a close game.
Let’s take a look at how our writers — and our readers — think Sunday’s Week 15 game against the New Orleans Saints will play out.
Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)
When I first started thinking about my prediction, we wrongly assumed that Taysom Hill was starting for the Saints. In a strange sort of way, I was petrified by the prospect of playing against a quarterback that isn’t scared to grind out tough yards with his legs, paired with an extremely aggressive head coach. Now that it’s been confirmed Drew Brees is starting, I fancy the Chiefs chances a little more. Spags can prepare for a more conventional type of game plan that should play to his defense’s strengths. The league’s two most consistent offenses from the last three years may end up producing a relatively low scoring affair. Chiefs 27 Saints 20.
John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)
It’s likely that at the beginning of the season, most Chiefs fans saw this game as one of the team’s tougher 2020 tests. But if they had known Drew Brees would be injured in Week 10, that might have changed their perspective. Yet with Taysom Hill under center, the Saints have just kept marching, notching three wins in four weeks. That’s a tribute to the team’s defense and offensive weapons — if not Hill himself. Should Brees be back for Sunday’s game — as he is expected to be — he could create more of a challenge for the Chiefs. But neither New Orleans quarterback has the advantage over Patrick Mahomes. Chiefs 30, Saints 24
Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)
The Saints defense might be the best unit the Chiefs have faced all season. They have multiple playmakers at all three levels, but their pass rush will especially cause concern. The Chiefs may not have either of their offensive tackles this week — which could become a huge issue. On the flip side, the Chiefs defense will need to have a good tackling game to limit the big plays of the Saints’ skill positions. Plus, the defensive front can’t be overwhelmed by the excellent New Orleans offensive line — or this could be a rough day for that side of the ball. With two lesser opponents to close out the season coming up, Andy Reid uses this game as a dress rehearsal for the postseason and does enough to hold off a really good Saints team. Chiefs 27, Saints 21
Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina)
The Saints tried to pull a fast one on the Chiefs by slipping in Drew Brees at the last second, but it sounds like the Chiefs knew that all along. It certainly changes how the Saints offense functions, but it may not have a significant impact on the Chiefs defense. When the Saints have the ball, they will work underneath on quick timing routes and look to heavily involve Alvin Kamara. The Chiefs have only faced four teams that have tried four or fewer deep passes against them and are 4-0 in those games. Drew Brees has thrown four or more deep passes once this season in a single game. When the Chiefs have the ball, it will be about holding on for dear life against the Saints’ pass rush with a makeshift line. It’s going to take an MVP performance from Patrick Mahomes and strong games from his possession guys — Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins — to figure this one out. Ultimately, I think Mahomes is up for this game, and while New Orleans has some successful drives, it simply doesn’t have the firepower under center. Chiefs 31, Saints 24
Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)
This could be the game of the year in the NFL. Most of the focus is on the two offenses going into this game, and the Saints are a formidable opponent with Alvin Kamara, who could catch double-digit passes against the Chiefs defense. But, we shouldn’t overlook the fact that the Saints are a top-five defense across the board — and a good test for the Chiefs offense, especially with the makeshift offensive line we’re likely to see. If the Chiefs don’t win out, this would be the most obvious opportunity for them to pick up their second loss. But I’d also argue that the Chiefs have shown the ability to dominate good opponents and bad and that they tend to rise to the occasion. This will have the feel of a playoff game, so we could be seeing the “playoff” version of Sammy Watkins, Frank Clark and others. Oh, and the Chiefs will still have the best quarterback in the game, regardless of whether Taysom Hill or Drew Brees lines up for the Saints. So, conventional wisdom might say the Saints could win, but I’m not betting against Mahomes in a big game (or any other game, sport, contest or dare). Chiefs 45, Saints 38
Craig Stout (@barleyhop)
Drew Brees is back and Alvin Kamara is healthy. The quick passing game should nullify the Chiefs’ pass rush, and the Kamara-vs-KC’s-linebackers matchup is a terrifying look on paper. On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs' banged-up offensive line is going against one of the best pass-rushing defensive lines in the league, as well as the No. 1 rated DVOA run defense. Patrick Mahomes will have to put the team on his back to stick in this game — which he’s perfectly capable of doing — but I think long, methodical drives from the Saints offense are just too much to overcome in this week’s matchup. Saints 35, Chiefs 30
Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson)
The Chiefs can afford to lose this game and still control their own destiny for the one seed in the AFC playoffs. This could be the last true road game for the Chiefs this season if they play their cards right. The news of Drew Brees’ return doesn’t affect my prediction for this football game. The concern about the tackle position doesn’t either. The Chiefs are continuing to build toward January. They can create some more wiggle room for themselves with a big win this week against a very good football team. Patrick Lavon Mahomes throws four touchdowns and the defense does enough to hold on. Chiefs 31, Saints 28
Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)
The Saints won’t have Michael Thomas on Sunday, but given they will have Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Emmanuel Sanders, I believe New Orleans has enough firepower to go blow for blow with the Chiefs. The potential matchup of defensive end Cam Jordan and rookie right tackle Yasir Durant — or another replacement — should be a concern for Chiefs fans. While I think the Chiefs offense will still be able to move the football, there might be less time for big plays (think not enough time to run Wasp). Patrick Mahomes’ patience will be tested, and it sets up nicely for Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s first pro game in his hometown. I like Edwards-Helaire to lead the team in scrimmage yardage, and for good measure, give me a pick from another New Orleans native, Tyrann Mathieu, to finally seal the shootout. Chiefs 36, Saints 28
Which team wins Chiefs (12-1) at Saints (10-3)?
This poll is closed
Chiefs in a blowout
Chiefs in a close game
Saints in a close game
Saints in a blowout
Ties in the standings are broken with prediction points error — how much each prediction misses the actual point spread and the number of points scored by each team.
For the fourth straight week, John Dixon had (or at least tied for) the most accurate prediction. His call for a 28-24 Chiefs victory over Miami had 10 points of error. Kent Swanson, Ron Kopp Jr., Matt Lane and Pete Sweeney all tied for second place in Week 14. Ranging from 31-20 to 27-20, their picks were all off by just 14 points. The standings remained unchanged.