LOCATION: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
BETTING LINE: Chiefs (-7)
The New Orleans Saints travel to Missouri to play one of the best secondaries in the league week 7. Cornerback Marcus Peters has played lights out this season, hauling in 5 interceptions, and will have the tough task of matching up against Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead and Michael Thomas. Coby Fleener, New Orleans tight end, had a big day a week ago recording two touchdowns for the Saints’ offense and finally looked comfortable with the play calling and assignments. Fleener was brought in this free agency for his ability to catch the ball and stretch the field while still conducting a traditional tight end role. He has shown glimpses of playmaking ability in spots but must become a consistent “go to” for Brees when in trouble. Expect Fleeners’ confidence to continue to grow and make a difference in mismatches against the Chiefs’ defense.
Jamaal Charles has yet to emerge from his torn ACL a year ago and has quietly built up carries over the past two weeks; he even found the endzone last week for the first time since week three of 2015. The Chiefs’ organization has been pleased with what backup Spencer Ware has been able to do in Charles absence but has not given Charles the chance to prove what he is still capable of. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers runningback, made his return to Carolina’s lineup last week and torched the Saints for 2 touchdowns near the goal line; Charles has the opportunity to prove his worth against a weak Saints’ defense and head coach Andy Reid should give his pro bowl runningback the chance.
New Orleans Saints Key Positions
The New Orleans Saints have a tough matchup against the Chiefs’ secondary this week and will have to rely on the playmaking ability of Fleener. Fleener scored twice against the Panthers a week ago and looked as if he really understood the offense coming out of the bye week. Fleener was brought in this year to be a Drew Brees outlet and must take advantage of possible mismatches against a tough Chiefs’ secondary in week seven.
New Orleans managed to get pressure on Cam Newton early and allowed for the Saints to take a quick 21 point lead in week six. With Sheldon Rankins (rookie) coming back sooner rather than later, the defensive line will be trimming rotation and guys must prove they belong. Veteran Nick Fairley has excelled in the absence of their first round draft pick and should continue his good fortune against the Chiefs.
Great team win!!!! hate that we let em make it close Love the ability to close out another great Team Victory!
— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) October 16, 2016
The Saints’ linebacking core has yet to come out and intimidate any opponents this season. With so many questions remaining on the defensive side of the ball the Saints should not have to worry about their linebacking core, yet they have under performed this season. Second year pick Stephone Anthony has been underwhelming for much of the 2016 season and James Laurinaitis has yet to take charge. Laurinaitis must prove he belongs in the middle for New Orleans and right the ship in Kansas City.
GAME PREVIEW ANALYSIS
Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints (3-2) travel to Arrowhead Stadium to take on Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs (3-2) at one o’ clock. Both teams come into the game trying to stay afloat in their divisional race and regain momentum moving into the second half of the season.
Drew Brees broke Peyton Manning’s record last week for most 400+ passing yard games and has been an elite quarterback since arriving in New Orleans eleven years ago. He has been asked to keep the Saints in games with his arm and will be held accountable again against a tough Chiefs’ team. Look for Brees to come and throw the ball down field early to try and free up running lanes for Ingram. On the defensive side of the ball the Saints still struggled to keep Carolina out of the endzone but ultimately played four quarters to help New Orleans record their second W of the season. The Chiefs are not a high scoring team so turnovers will be the difference.
Opposite of Sean Payton, the Chiefs travel back home to take on the Saints, as they try to break New Orleans’ two game winning streak. Head coach Andy Reid has had his ball club playing great football over the last two years but must continue his hot streak against a tough Saints’ offense. Look for Reid to try and get Charles involved in the offense early and set up the run with play action pass. Kansas City’s defense will have a tough time against the Saints but will play damage control with their excellent secondary.
Kansas City Chiefs Key Positions
Kansas City’s Alex Smith has played well this year but has yet to post big game numbers consistently. With almost a perfect passing campaign last week, he still didn’t connect on a passing touchdown. If the Saints’ manage to progress the game into a shootout, Smith will be asked to push the ball down the field and show his athletic capability.
The Chiefs’ defensive line is still elite behind pass rusher Tamba Hali but he has only produced one sack this season. He must find a way to make Drew Brees uncomfortable in the pocket and disrupt passing lanes. What happens behind the line of scrimmage in this contest could be the difference on the scoreboard.
The Chiefs’ secondary has produced a number of turnovers this year and will be counted on once again against a tough Saints’ offense. Cornerback Marcus Peters has reeled in five interceptions already this season and will likely be matched up with Brandin Cooks for the majority of the game; look for this key matchup at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City must force Brees into making an error and not allow him to find a rhythm on Sunday.
When we needed it most, Marcus Peters sparked the team with a key interception in 26-10 win over Oakland.