3. New Orleans Saints
Before we go any further talking about the Saints, we have to address Drew Brees’ rib injury that he sustained last weekend against the San Francisco 49ers. At this point, the timeline for Brees to return from multiple rib fractures is unknown. However, the team hasn’t placed him on injured reserve, and the Chiefs don’t face them until December 20, which gives the future Hall of Fame quarterback enough time to potentially be ready to play.
The Saints are analytically one of the best teams in football right now. They own the fourth fewest turnovers, fourth most points scored, third fewest yards allowed, fifth most average points per drive, fourth best scoring percentage, and of course, the top seed in the NFC.
However, watching the Saints play, it does not feel like they are the best team in the NFC. They have only won by more than one score on two occasions—both times against the Buccaneers—and have been held in check by teams like the Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina Panthers, and Chicago Bears, among others. Sure, they have forced nine turnovers, but six of those are against Tom Brady and the Bucs.
Regardless, if Brees plays, then this is a huge game for the Chiefs, and with it taking place so late in the schedule, it could drastically effect the seeding picture. However, the amount of “threat” that the Saints pose is questionable at best.