The Kansas City Chiefs put away Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in Week 15.
It was a bit more of a defensive showing than anyone expected, but Patrick Mahomes did what was necessary and the Kansas City Chiefs were able to put away the New Orleans Saints by a final score of 32-29.
Before the game, much was made about the offensive firepower for both teams—and rightfully so—given that both quarterbacks are future Hall of Fame entrants who have impressive skill position players all around them. Yet this game featured more punting than anyone expected from both teams, and both defensive units came up big at key points to keep the game close.
Both defenses put up solid first-half performances, with the Chiefs getting the edge overall by largely shutting down anything and everything the Saints wanted to do coming into the game. Drew Brees missed his first six passes overall and had a mere 3 completions in the first two quarters. Besides an impressive 51-yard strike downfield to Emmanuel Sanders on a quick snap that surprised the Chiefs off guard, Brees had only 7 yards passing in the first 30 minutes. Still the Saints took advantage of their lone productive drive of the half by finishing it off with a short touchdown run by Taysom Hill.
As for the Chiefs, they were forced to punt on 4 of their 6 first-half drives but they put up 14 points which gave them the halftime lead, with Mahomes throwing touchdowns to both Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. The former allowed Hill to tie Dwayne Bowe for the franchise record for most receiving touchdowns in a single season. The latter was an inventive flip at the goal line that shows why the Chiefs are so tough to defend.
A fumble on a punt return Demarcus Robinson before the end of the first half was pushed out of the back of the end zone. The Chiefs were lucky that the Saints didn’t get six points here, but it was still a safety, giving the Saints two more points before halftime. The end result was a 14-9 lead for K.C. after the second quarter.
In the second, both offenses came out firing and scored touchdowns on their first possessions. Penalties on Chris Jones and L’Jarius Sneed helped the Saints move the chains on a drive that ended with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Latavius Murray. A failed two-point conversion attempt kept the Saints up by one point, 15-14. The Chiefs took the lead right back on the ensuing drive with an incredible 5-yard touchdown catch by Mecole Hardman in the back of the end zone.
From there, the teams traded punts for the rest of the third quarter and into the fourth—until the Chiefs finally scored on a drive that featured Saints defensive end Cam Jordan getting tossed from the game for throwing a punch at Andrew Wylie. On the ensuing play, Chiefs running back Le’Veon Bell ran it in for a 12-yard score. A two-point conversion by Travis Kelce made it a 29-15 lead.
After another punt by the Saints offense, the New Orleans defense came up big by forcing a Mahomes fumble that gave them a short field. Alvin Kamara made short work of things to bring the Saints back within a single score.
From there, the Chiefs put together a long, methodical drive that got them all the way to the goal line before they lost Clyde Edwards-Helaire to a hip/leg injury. From there they couldn’t punch it in, but a short Harrison Butker field goal put them up by two possessions. The Saints came roaring back with a nice drive that featured Drew Brees’ third touchdown throw of the night, this one to Lil’Jordan Humphrey, to bring it back to 32-29.
The Saints hoped to get the ball back, but Mahomes and company were able to move the chains enough to keep the clock moving. Brees could only watch the Chiefs put it away and leave the Big Easy with their 13th win of the season.
The Chiefs play their penultimate game on the regular season schedule next week against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16.