We asked a Saints expert what to expect on Sunday about several subjects, including Drew Brees.
It’s a bit surprising there’s not a bigger spotlight on this game. The New Orleans Saints are hosting the Kansas City Chiefs in an important Week 15 contest that could go a long way in determining the top seed in each NFL conference on Sunday. It’s also a potential Super Bowl preview. But instead of being flexed to the bright lights of Sunday Night Football, both teams will play in NoLa in the late afternoon.
Despite the odd start time for a matchup of this caliber, we’re still excited to see both teams take the field. To understand a bit more, we also reached out to Nathan Beighle, site expert for Saints blog Who Dat Dish, to tell us more about the quarterback questions surrounding Drew Brees and Taysom Hill, how their first round pick is holding up, and what to expect on Sunday.
The QB question looms over the game here, but is there really any chance that Drew Brees comes back this soon?
Brees has returned to practice, but it still just feels doubtful that they’ll put him back in action against one of the best teams in the NFL. While the Chiefs pass defense actually is better on the road, I think the Saints will be giving Brees one more week. All indications seem that if he’s brought back it would be marginally too soon. I’d say no; there’s no really any chance.
As Hill has earned several starts in a row, how has the growth curve been for him at the position?
We’d love to say Hill has been explosive. He’s been solid, a capable winner. Hill has shown he can be a passer, throwing over 250 for the first time last week. However, he’s fumbled the most of any player in the past month. His turnovers are an issue. We’d have more to saw on his growth if Week 14, against not an elite defense in Philadelphia, never happened. He was sacked often and turned it over several times. Hill still has a ways to go before he cements himself as the next great New Orleans quarterback.
How is Cesar Ruiz looking in this rookie season?
Ruiz is coming along nicely. The Saints rank in the top half of the league in sack percentage. While that’s not all Ruiz, he has been a capable force for the line. After a Week 2 debut, Ruiz has started a handful of games and played 100 percent of the offensive snaps in five of them. He’s been praised by his colleagues and is expected to be a star for quite a while.
What do you believe are the Saints chances of representing the NFC in the Super Bowl?
After three disappointing seasons, the Saints have a good bit still to figure out. They recently lost to Philadelphia and haven’t shown that clutch gene in year’s past. I want to say they do, and I believe it. But, they’ll have some convincing to do as history isn’t on their side. All I’m saying is I believe they do, and I also believed they had a shot in the last three seasons as well. They’re just so dominant in the regular season.
Any final score predictions?
I want to go 27-24 New Orleans, being a little hopeful here.