In Week 14, the New Orleans Saints were humbled by the Philadelphia Eagles. While the Saints were in a position to win their fourth-consecutive NFC South title, they couldn’t get it done. This week, it doesn’t get any easier for the Saints, as they now host Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in a Week 15 Sunday afternoon showdown.
Both teams should be prepared to give it their all Sunday afternoon, with the Chiefs hoping to lock up the No. 1 seed in the AFC, the Saints still holding out hope for the same position in the NFC.
Here are the biggest questions I have for the team heading into Sunday’s game:
1. Which quarterback starts for the Saints? No, I’m not suggesting the Saints go with Jameis Winston this week. Instead, there’s actually a chance - all be it a small one - that Drew Brees returns and is ready to go for this week’s game. After seeing the Saints offense struggle last week against the Eagles, will Drew Brees force his way onto the field on Sunday?
2. Can Michael Thomas keep it up? Taysom Hill has been leaning on Michael Thomas in the passing game. Thomas was only able to top 50 receiving yards once while Drew Brees was at quarterback, Thomas has passed the century mark twice under Taysom Hill, with his lowest receiving total 50 yards during Taysom’s four games. If the Saints want a chance to beat the Chiefs, they will need to lean on Thomas all afternoon.
3. Can the defensive line generate pressure on Patrick Mahomes? The Saints defensive line looked like monsters against the Atlanta Falcons twice and the Denver Broncos. Then, against the Philadelphia Eagles, they went back to playing like they did to start the season. If you give Patrick Mahomes all day to throw, he’s going to tear you up, so the Saints defense will need to generate pressure on Mahomes with just their down defensive linemen.
4. Can Marshon Lattimore turn things around? There’s not a pleasant way to say this: Marshon Lattimore has not played well in 2020. After getting cooked by Calvin Ridley two weeks ago, Lattimore committed an unforgiveable sin in giving up a touchdown to Alshon freaking Jeffery. If Alshon Jeffery is able to have his way with Lattimore, I shudder to think what Tyreek Hill will do this week.
5. What about Taysom Hill? Don’t worry, I’m not going to forget: Taysom Hill has been struggling as a starting quarterback, despite leading the Saints to a 3-1 record during his time at the helm. Taysom has been slow to process, made poor reads, held on to the ball too long, and - most egregiously - struggled with fumbles. This needs to correct itself sooner rather than later.
So those are the things I’m looking at in the game. What about you? What are you looking at specifically in this game? Something different? Tell me in the comments. Send me presents. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, on Instagram at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, follow us on Instagram at @SaintsCSC and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel.